The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, February 2, 2012

By Amanda VanAllen

Feb 2, 2012 4:42am

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’ Jayce Henderson, Jacqueline Fernandez, Amanda VanAllen and Carrie Halperin

NEWT GINGRICH
ABC News’ Elicia Dover: “Newt Gingrich to Mitt Romney: ‘Founding Fathers Meant the Very Poor’” Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich blasted his opponent, Mitt Romney, after Romney said earlier Wednesday that he was “not concerned about the very poor.” Gingrich, at an event in Nevada, said Romney’s comments displayed a “perfect distinction” between the two candidates’ approaches. LINK

MITT ROMNEY
Bloomberg’s Julie Hirschfeld Davis: “Romney Defends Comment on ‘Poor’ While Staying on Attack Against Gingrich” Mitt Romney sought to seize the upper hand in the Republican presidential race after his 14-point triumph in Florida, assailing rival Newt Gingrich as not a “pure conservative” even as he defended his own attitude toward economically disadvantaged Americans. As the contest moved west in advance of Nevada’s Feb. 4 caucuses, the former Massachusetts governor said Gingrich had strayed from core party principles by advocating action to curb climate change, criticizing a Republican Medicare plan and backing a national mandate to purchase health care. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Brody Mullins and Alicia Mundy: “Romney Rides Big Wave of Fund Raising Over Rivals” Mitt Romney is emerging from his Florida victory with not only political momentum but also a big financial advantage over Republican rival Newt Gingrich—and potentially evening the fund-raising field against an incumbent president. In the last three months of 2011, Mr. Romney and the Republican National Committee raised $93.4 million, while Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee brought in $68 million, according to an analysis of campaign-finance reports released late Tuesday. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ John Hoeffel, Maeve Reston and Seema Mehta: Reporting from Tampa, Fla., Eagan, Minn., and Reno: ”Mitt Romney trips up as GOP race moves westward” The Republican presidential contest shifted to the West and Midwest on Wednesday as an exultant Mitt Romney dueled with the man he hopes to meet in November, President Obama, but found himself sidetracked when an infelicitous remark was seized upon by his opponents. LINK

The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan:  “Hispanics out West a tougher sell for Romney Immigration issue hotter than Florida” Mitt Romney took a hard line on illegal immigration, was labeled anti-immigrant and had a national network of Hispanic Republicans come out against him, yet he won Florida’s primary by carrying more than half of Hispanics who voted – better than he did among whites. But his primary opponents and immigrant-rights advocates say he will have a tougher time winning Hispanics in Nevada, which holds caucuses this weekend, and in Colorado and Arizona, which vote later this month and where immigration is a much hotter topic. LINK

PRESIDENT OBAMA
The New York Daily News’ Benjamin Leser and Alison Gander: “President Obama is a Hollywood heavyweight when it comes to fund-raising” President Obama’s political star may have lost some of its luster, but he still sparkles in Tinseltown — at least when it comes to raking in cash from celebs. Hollywood’s glitterati have lined up to cut fat checks for the President’s reelection bid, helping him to a cash-on-hand edge of 4 to 1 over likely GOP opponent Mitt Romney, new fund-raising records show. LINK

SUPER PAC
The New York Times’ Nicholas Confessore and Michael Luo: “Secrecy Shrouds ‘Super PAC’ Funds in Latest Filings” Newly disclosed details of the millions of dollars flowing into political groups are highlighting not just the scale of donations from corporation and unions but also the secrecy surrounding “super PACs” seeking to influence the presidential race. LINK
ROMNEY/PAUL
The Washington Post’s Amy Gardner: “For Romney and Paul, a strategic alliance between establishment and outsider” The remaining candidates in the winnowed Republican presidential field are attacking one another with abandon, each day bringing fresh headlines of accusations and outrage. But Mitt Romney and Ron Paul haven’t laid a hand on each other. LINK

OTHER
Politico’s Robin Bravender and Anna Palmer: “Hill gets fundraising jitters” Super PACs supporting the GOP presidential field reported such stunning hauls this week that congressional groups look like paupers by comparison. The Congressional Leadership Fund, backed by House Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders, raised a measly $131,000 between its mid-October launch and the end of the year. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:
Romney: ‘Not Concerned About the Very Poor’LINK
Mitt Romney Glitter BombedLINK

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