The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at

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

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The Washington Post's David Nakamura: " Obama invokes Teddy Roosevelt in speech attacking GOP policies" President Obama came to this tiny middle American town Tuesday to invoke the spirit of a long-ago Republican president in a speech that laid out, in his sharpest language yet, the economic and social arguments he will probably use against Republicans in 2012. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Peter Nicholas: " President Obama's road to reelection runs through Pennsylvania" In his first run for president, Barack Obama won every state he was expected to win and carried a few more he didn't need to get comfortably over the top. This time, amid a sluggish economic recovery and high unemployment, the race is shaping up to be much closer - so close that Obama's showing in one state might foretell his chances across the electoral map. LINK

MITT ROMNEY: ABC News' John Berman: " Romney Team Shifts Tactics" The Mitt Romney campaign is making an immediate shift in tactics, a move that is necessary because, as one Republican close the campaign put it, "What they are doing now isn't working." At an event in Arizona, Romney himself said you will see more ads, you will see him making sure the contrasts between himself and Newt Gingrich are "loud and clear." And Romney himself said you will be seeing more interviews and press conferences. LINK

The Hills' Justin Sink: " Romney won't participate in Trump debate, cites busy campaign schedule" Mitt Romney will not be attending the upcoming Republican presidential debate moderated by Donald Trump, citing scheduling conflicts. "No, I'm not participating in that," Romney said Tuesday during an interview with Fox News. "The rest of the month is going to be spent campaigning … we'll be hitting the trail." LINK

The New York Daily News' Alison Gendar and Jonathan Lemire: " Mitt Romney says he won't debate Republican rival Newt Gingrich at Donald Trump-hosted debate" Mitt Romney better bust out those fund-raising dollars and make a stand, his backers say - but the reeling candidate said he won't spar with Newt Gingrich if The Donald is the referee. Anxious supporters of the former Republican frontrunner are pushing for him to go on the offensive against his surging and increasingly everywhere rival Newt Gingrich. LINK

The Boston Globe's Tracy Jan: " Mitt Romney says "nay" on Donald Trump debate" It's official. Mitt Romney is skipping the controversial GOP debate moderated by Donald Trump later this month in Des Moines. Romney announced on Fox News this afternoon that he will not be participating, saying he told Trump in a call today that he's already agreed to two other debates in Iowa in December. LINK

NEWT GINGRICH: USA Today's Susan Page: " Poll: Cain's fall fuels Gingrich's double-digit lead" Former House speaker Newt Gingrich has taken a double-digit lead over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination in a new nationwide Gallup Poll. Gingrich's 37% standing is higher support than any Republican candidate has scored to date in Gallup surveys this year that have been led, at various times, by five other contenders. Romney is at 22%. LINK

The Washington Times' Jennifer Harper: " Inside the Beltway" Newt Gingrich rules the Republican presidential pantheon for now, leading archrival Mitt Romney 37 percent to 22 percent in a new Gallup poll of GOP voters, with all other candidates foundering in single digits. Mr. Gingrich finds his highest support among tea partyers (47 percent), voters older than 55 (46 percent), men (43 percent), Southerners (42 percent) and conservatives (41 percent). LINK

Politico's Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman and Reid J. Epstein: " Newt Gingrich surge prompts Mitt Romney reboot" Mitt Romney, facing anxiety from some of his own supporters after sliding back to second in a slew of polls, took a series of steps Tuesday to signal he'll get more aggressive in the final weeks before voting begins. Romney also indicated that he's prepared for a long slog toward the Republican nomination - a nod to supporters who are getting spooked by Newt Gingrich's growing lead in first-in-the-nation Iowa. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Douglas Belkin and Jonathan Weisman: " Lean Machine in Iowa Doesn't Faze Gingrich" Newt Gingrich is betting the traditional rules of Iowa presidential politics won't apply this time. He has surged to a clear lead in the state that will cast the first votes for the Republican presidential nomination. So, where was he this past weekend? Staten Island, in New York. He spent Monday in Manhattan, plotting an "Apprentice"-like program for kids with Donald Trump. On Wednesday he'll be in Washington, talking Israel policy to the Republican Jewish Coalition. LINK

G.O.P.: The New York Times' Richard Oppel Jr.: " Republican Candidates Aim at Obama Foreign Policy" A small but revealing episode unfolded in the closing minutes of the last Republican presidential debate. After the candidates were asked to name the national security issue they most worry about, which had not yet been discussed, Rick Santorum cited radical Islamists in Central and South America. LINK

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