The Note’s Must-Reads for Monday, October 3, 2011

By Jacqueline Fernandez

Oct 3, 2011 3:28am

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates Jacqueline Fernandez, Jayce Henderson and Desk Assistant Amanda VanAllen

REPUBLICANS
ABC News’ Jonathan Karl: “Christie Quiet But a Decision Could Come ‘Within Days’” As the political world awaits his decision, Chris Christie has been keeping a close counsel of family and a small group of trusted advisors. I have been told to expect his decision within days — but nothing more specific than that. Two top Republican donors — people who would be called into action to help with the herculean task of raising the money Christie would need to mount a campaign on such short notice — tell me they have heard nothing from Christie. As one emailed this afternoon, “Major donors are teed up, but still no word.” LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King Jr. and Lisa Fleisher: “Christie Decision Down to the Wire” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is expected to announce within days whether he will join the presidential race, amid concerns within his inner circle over the increasingly tight political calendar and the formidable challenges of launching an 11th-hour campaign. The governor spent much of the weekend deliberating the logistics of a late bid, in discussions with his aides but also his wife and family, said people who have talked to Mr. Christie’s inner circle. LINK

Politico’s Marin Cogan and John Bresnaham: “Paul Ryan’s second act” In the past year, he’s been called everything from a conservative visionary to a right-wing ideologue, but one label Rep. Paul Ryan wants to fight off is forgotten man when it comes to the budget crisis. After being demonized by Democrats and sidelined during the debt crisis, the Wisconsin Republican now seems to be everywhere. LINK

The New York Daily News’ Alison Gendar: “Chris Christie’s everyman appeal has GOP insiders begging him for a White House run” He’s big. He’s bold. He’s gone after unions,dirty pols and terrorists — and become a conservative cult hero in the process. It’s a résumé some establishment Republicans hope New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will now parlay into a late entry into the race for the White House. LINK

The New York Times’ Richard Oppel Jr.: “Snag for Perry: Offensive Name at Texas Camp” The campaign of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas found itself on the defensive on Sunday over a report that he had hunted at and taken guests to a West Texas camp with a racially charged name that his father, and later Mr. Perry, had leased. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Robin Abcarian: “Rick Perry works in New Hampshire to regain ground” As he fought to right his presidential campaign during a weekend trip here, Texas Gov. Rick Perry repeatedly brandished two talismans. One was the black Sharpie pen he said he would use to obliterate President Obama’s healthcare law on his first day in the Oval Office. The second was a copy of the Constitution, which Perry frequently retrieved from the breast pocket of his sport coat. LINK

The Washington Post’s Amy Gardner: “Rick Perry deflects scrutiny over Texas hunting camp, is blasted by Herman Cain” Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign spent Sunday deflecting scrutiny of a report in The Washington Post detailing a West Texas hunting camp he once leased with his father that includes a racial epithet in its name. LINK

DEBT/BUDGET COMMITTEE:
The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan: “Senators see cuts to GAO budget as retaliation” Pushed by budget hawks, the Senate Appropriations Committee has been searching in every nook and cranny for spending cuts, but it may have gone too far in calling for slashing nearly 8 percent from the budget of the government’s chief watchdog next year. LINK

CHINA:
The Hills’ Bernie Becker: “Senate Dems look to gain political edge with China currency vote” Senate Democrats now believe a measure targeting China’s currency practices will win broad support, leading some to question whether that undercuts the issue’s ability to rally voters for next year’s elections. Generally speaking, targeting China on trade has garnered support from members of both parties, especially in Rust Belt states that have lost manufacturing jobs. LINK

HEALTH CARE:
USA Today’s Richard Wolf: “Five ways to squeeze Medicare” Nearly 50 million people on Medicare, as well as those entering the program at a pace of one every eight seconds, are likely to get more than their money’s worth before they die. The same can’t be said for anyone under 55 who will rely on the federal health care program for those 65 and older in the future. They face higher costs and, possibly, longer waits before they qualify for coverage. LINK 

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