The Note’s Must-Reads for Friday, January 13, 2012

By Jayce Henderson

Jan 13, 2012 3:28am

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 www.abcnews.com

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

MITT ROMNEY:
ABC News’ Amy Walter: “Romney’s GOP Opponents Back off Bain Capital Bashing. But Is That Really A Good Thing for Mitt?” After launching full-throated attacks against Mitt Romney’s business record earlier this week, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich are now backing off the Bain bashing. ABC’s Arlette Saenz reports from South Carolina that Perry debuted the term “vulture capitalism” on Tuesday, but by Wednesday afternoon, the line of attack was removed from his speech. Gingrich, according to one GOP source I spoke with, has been getting pressure to lay off the attacks by some of his donors who are worried that it could brand him as anti-capitalist. LINK

The New York Daily News’ Aliyah Shahid: “Survey finds 56% of Mormons have faith U.S. will elect a Mormon as President” Many Mormons don’t think America is ready for one of their own as President. Just 56% of those who identify themselves as being part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe Americans are ready to elect a Mormon to the White House, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Thursday. LINK

The Washington Post’s Amy Gardner and Peter Wallsten: “GOP divided over potential impact of Bain attacks” Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney appeared Thursday to have successfully blunted attacks on his work at Bain Capital, with still more conservatives coming to his defense, his rivals backing down and voters at campaign stops in South Carolina saying they disapproved of the critique. LINK

The Washington Times’ Seth McLaughlin: “Venture or ‘vulture,’ Romney takes spotlight with business background” Staples is now the world’s largest office-supply company, employing 90,000 workers worldwide, but in the 1980s it was a startup having trouble attracting investors — until it came to Bain Capital, an investment firm founded and run at the time by Mitt Romney. LINK

RICK PERRY:
The Hills’ Jonathan Easley: “Rick Perry in new ad: ‘I’m not about to quit’” “I have never quit a day in my life,” Perry says. “I am going to stay in this race.” In a new Rick Perry Web advertisement titled “Champion,” the Texas governor says he’s committed to staying in the GOP presidential race and is capable of staging a comeback. LINK

RICK SANTORUM:
USA Today’s Catalina Camia: “Pro-Santorum group increases TV buy in S.C.” A “super PAC” backing Rick Santorum increased its TV ad buy in South Carolina, where the former Pennsylvania senator could have huge appeal with evangelical voters. The Red White & Blue Fund is pumping another $600,000 into the Palmetto State, pushing its total there to about $800,000. LINK

NEWT GINGRICH:
The Wall Street Journal’s Brody Mullins: “Wall Street, Washington and Gingrich” Newt Gingrich and his consulting companies helped financial-services giant Credit Suisse Group gather exclusive Washington information and analysis, showing that the Republican presidential candidate benefited from a practice that has come under fire from lawmakers. This “political intelligence” business—while legal—also risks muddying the campaign argument by the former House speaker that he has been a Washington outsider since he left Congress in 1999. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ John Hoeffel: “Newt Gingrich veers away from attacking Mitt Romney” Newt Gingrich, his rumpled-professor suit coat buttoned, spun out a detailed step-by-step proposal to bring new manufacturing jobs to an economically battered South Carolina, winning rousing applause both times he made the pitch in two campaign appearances in the state’s capital. LINK

POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE / OTHER:
The New York Times’ Nicholas Confessore and Jim Rutenberg: “PAC’s Aid Allows Romney’s Rivals to Extend Race” Under the old political rules, Mitt Romney arrived in South Carolina this week the prohibitive Republican front-runner: flush with cash, awash in endorsements from a party establishment starting to coalesce behind him and buoyed by victories in Iowa and New Hampshire. LINK

Politico’s Ginger Gibson and Dylan Byers: “Young women more involved in campaign coverage” Before CNN reporters left for the campaign trail this cycle, the network’s Washington bureau chief, Sam Feist, gave each of them a copy of Timothy Crouse’s account of his romp across the country with the all-male 1972 press corps, “The Boys on the Bus.” Half of those books went to women. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:
Rick Perry: ‘I Love Capitalism’LINK
Mitt Romney Defends Time at Bain, Jobs RecordLINK

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