The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, January 18, 2012

By Jayce Henderson

Jan 18, 2012 3:07am

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 Associate Jayce Henderson

MITT ROMNEY:
The New York Times’ Nicholas Confessore, David Kocieniewski and Ashley Parker: “Romney Shares Some Tax Data; Critics Pounce” Under growing pressure from rival Republicans to release his tax returns, Mitt Romney said on Tuesday that he paid a tax rate approaching 15 percent on his millions of dollars in annual income but said he would not make public his full return until April. LINK

The Washington Post’s Rosalind Helderman and Karen Tumulty: “Rivals vie to battle Romney from the right – alone” Mitt Romney’s rivals tried to shove one another aside Tuesday in an effort to consolidate support around a single conservative alternative to the former Massachusetts governor. LINK

Boston Globe’s Matt Viser: “Mitt Romney says he’s been paying near 15% tax rate” Mitt Romney this morning said that he has been paying close to 15 percent on his income taxes in recent years, a figure that is likely to be used by his political opponents to cast the former Massachusetts governor as out of touch with average Americans, many of whom pay at a much higher rate. LINK

Politico’s Reid Epstein: “Mitt Romney’s tax return problem” For Mitt Romney, the choice is stark. He can stop equivocating and cough up the tax returns that his rival Republicans and reporters are clamoring for. Or he can make an audacious effort to reverse a precedent that has been in place for more than four decades. LINK

Los Angeles Times’ Maeve Reston and Mark Barabak: “Mitt Romney fumbles common touch regarding money” Reporting from Florence, S.C., and Columbia, S.C.— Mitt Romney has made his successful business career a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, saying his hands-on experience in corporate America is precisely what the country needs. LINK

USA Today’s David Jackson: “Romney’s father released 12 years of tax returns” Mitt Romney says he’s looking at how previous presidential candidates have handled releasing their tax returns — and there’s one compelling example that hits very close to home. LINK

RICK SANTORUM:
The Washington Times’ Seth McLaughlin: “Iowa recount may boost Santorum” This could change the narrative a bit: A recount of the Iowa caucus vote could give the former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum the victory over front-runner Mitt Romney, who eked out an eight-vote win in the initial count. LINK

RICK PERRY:
ABC News’ Arlette Saenz: “Rick Perry leads South Carolina Prayer Rally Days Before Primary” Just one week after her husband Todd Palin “went rogue” and endorsed Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said tonight she would vote for Gingrich “if I were a South Carolinian” — the closest she has come to an endorsement in this race. LINK

Bloomberg’s Tom Schoenberg: “Perry loses Bid to Prevent Virginia From Printing Ballots Without His Name” Texas Governor Rick Perry lost a bid to stop Virginia from printing ballots for the Republican presidential primary without his name on them. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, today rejected Perry’s request to block the state from printing ballots and sending out absentee ballots for the March 6 primary while his appeal seeking to be included on the ballots was pending. LINK

SARAH PALIN:
ABC News’ Elicia Dover: “Sarah Palin: ‘I’d Vote for Newt’” Just one week after her husband Todd Palin “went rogue” and endorsed Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said tonight she would vote for Gingrich “if I were a South Carolinian” — the closest she has come to an endorsement in this race. LINK

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY / OTHER:
The Hill’s Cameron Joseph: “Republican primary calendar tilts in Romney’s favor after South Carolina” The Republican primary calendar tilts in Mitt Romney’s favor once South Carolina’s contest is over, which could add to the pressure on his GOP rivals to exit the race. Between Saturday’s vote in the Palmetto State and Super Tuesday on March 6 are elections in a number of states where the former Massachusetts governor is favored to win. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Douglas Belkin: “Wisconsin Recall Drive Hits Republican Hurdle” Wisconsin Democrats handed in one million signatures on Tuesday calling for the recall of GOP Gov. Scott Walker, but Republicans have succeeded in delaying any election, likely improving the governor’s chances of surviving the bruising and widely publicized battle. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:
Romney’s Taxes: Multimillionaire’s Low RateLINK
Stephen Colbert: ‘Vote for Herman Cain’LINK
South Carolina Debate: Ganging Up on RomneyLINK

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