The Note’s Must-Reads for Monday, January, 23, 2012

By Jacqueline Fernandez

Jan 23, 2012 3:53am

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

NEWT GINGRICH
ABC News’ Rick Klien: “‘World News’ Political Insights: Gingrich Cuts Romney Where It Hurts” Mitt Romney lost far more than South Carolina last night. He also lost the air of inevitability around his candidacy. Newt Gingrich beat Romney in decisive, sweeping fashion in a state with a long history of picking winners — cutting into Romney’s strengths on economic issues and even on the question of electability, a critical attribute in a year Republicans desperately want to defeat President Obama. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King Jr. and Janet Hook: “Gingrich Reshapes Landscape “Newt Gingrich’s surprise thumping of Mitt Romney in the South Carolina Republican primary sets the stage for a prolonged and potentially messy fight to determine who will lead the party’s campaign to defeat President Barack Obama. Mr. Romney, seen as the all-but-inevitable nominee a week ago, now faces in Mr. Gingrich a surging rival who survived millions of dollars in negative advertising to pull off the most unexpected win of the campaign so far.  LINK

USA Today’s Susan Page and Fredreka Schouten: “Showdown in Florida after Gingrich victory revamps GOP race” In the wake of a South Carolina stunner, a revamped Republican presidential race moves to a showdown in Florida between Mitt Romney, scrambling to regain his footing, and Newt Gingrich, hoping to take advantage of momentum from his big win. Romney, acknowledging that a controversy about the release of his tax returns had become a damaging distraction, said on Fox News Sunday that he would make public his 2010 returns and an estimate of his 2011 taxes on Tuesday. LINK

MITT ROMNEY
ABC News’ Amy Walter: “Can Mitt Romney Get His Groove Back?” After a stunning and sweeping loss last night in South Carolina, can Mitt Romney find a way back to his perch as the undisputed front-runner and likely GOP nominee? Or has Newt Gingrich finally found the winning formula for getting — and staying — on top of this volatile primary process? LINK

Politico’s Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman: “Mitt Romney’s misery, in a word: Bain” The verdict is in: Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital problem is real. Of all the forces that converged to doom Romney in Saturday’s South Carolina primary, none may be as disconcerting for Republicans as the attacks on Romney’s private equity work – an offensive that caught Romney off-guard and triggered a damaging conversation about his vast personal wealth. LINK

The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Amy Gardner: “In Florida, Romney takes aim at resurgent Gingrich” Mitt Romney unleashed his harshest personal attack of the campaign on Newt Gingrich here Sunday, saying “it was proven that he was a failed leader” as the former governor pivoted sharply to regain his footing in the wake of Gingrich’s stunning resurgence over the weekend. LINK

G.O.P.
The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg: “Gingrich and Romney Trade Jabs as G.O.P. Race Rolls On” Facing a restive Republican Party and a resurgent Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney shifted course on Sunday and agreed to release his tax returns this week, as the two candidates and their allies buckled in for a combative and unpredictable new phase of the presidential nominating campaign. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Paul West: “Republicans’ ‘head vs. heart’ battle moves to Florida” With the presidential candidates bracing for another televised debate Monday night, a nomination fight that has suddenly swung Gingrich’s way is playing out along a ragged fault line inside the Republican Party. Gingrich routed Romney in South Carolina by both channeling and stoking the emotions of angry, economically stressed conservatives, who rewarded him by turning out in record numbers for the first Southern primary. Romney, his campaign back on its heels, is trying to convince Republicans that his cooler establishment mien is the surer path to victory in November. LINK

STATE OF THE UNION
The Washington Times’ Dave Boyer and Susan Crabtree: “Obama’s State of the Union will reflect state of the election“  Anyone wondering whether President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday will focus more on policy or the politics of his re-election should consider the trip he has planned immediately afterward: visits to five battleground states in three days.  About 12 hours after delivering his speech to Congress at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Mr. Obama will depart on Air Force One for Iowa, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Michigan — all key states he hopes to win in November. His aides say the president will use the swing states to promote policies to help the middle class, but the campaign strategy is obvious. Link

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