The Note’s Must-Reads for Tuesday, February 7, 2012

By Jacqueline Fernandez

Feb 7, 2012 4:30am

Compiled by ABC News’ Jacqueline Fernandez, Jayce Henderson, Amanda Van Allen, and Carrie Halperin

PRESIDENT OBAMA
ABC News’ Jake Tapper: “Changing Positions, Obama Campaign Will Push Support for Democratic Super PAC” On a conference call with members of President Obama’s 2012 reelection committee Monday evening, campaign manager Jim Messina announced that donors should start funding Priorities USA, the Democratic super PAC run by two former White House staffers, Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney. The move was a remarkable shift in approach toward the independent political expenditure groups, whose role in the political process Obama has criticized and from which his campaign had sought to keep distance. LINK

The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg: “Obama Yields in Marshaling of ‘Super Pac’” President Obama is signaling to wealthy Democratic donors that he wants them to start contributing to an outside group supporting his re-election, reversing a long-held position as he confronts a deep financial disadvantage on a vital front in the campaign. LINK

USA Today’s Richard Wolf: “Obama re-election campaign seeks historic grass-roots effort” Every time a bell rings in the field office of President Obama’s re-election campaign here, it means a phone bank worker has just persuaded a potential volunteer to come in for a one-on-one meeting. That would seem a small victory to celebrate — except that it’s repeated virtually every hour of every day in scores of field offices across the country, including eight in Michigan. LINK

Politico’s Glenn Thrush:  “Obama super PAC decision: President blesses fundraising for Priorities USA Action” President Barack Obama — in an act of hypocrisy or necessity, depending on the beholder — has reversed course and is now blessing the efforts of a sputtering super PAC, Priorities USA Action, organized to fight GOP dark-money attacks. On Monday morning, Obama reviled the “negative” tone of the super PACs, a dominant fundraising source in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. LINK

The Hill’s Amie Parnes: “It’s super PAC v. super PAC for the 2012 race” In a clear signal that the 2012 presidential election is gearing up to be a monumental slug fest, the Obama campaign told big-money donors late Monday evening to begin writing their checks to Priorities USA, a top Democratic “super PAC” and make the president’s reelection effort competitive with its deep-pocketed GOP opponents. The president’s blessing of the super PAC comes nine months before Election Day and gives Obama’s top bundlers the opportunity to help jump-start the outside group, which donors had previously avoided. LINK

MITT ROMNEY
The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker: “Romney tries to beat back possible Santorum Surge in trio of states” Mitt Romney returned to the campaign trail here Monday and trained his focus on President Obama, but his top aides and key surrogates fought to beat back a possible surge by Rick Santorum on the eve of Republican presidential contests in a trio of states. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King Jr.: “Romney Finding Support Where Women Hold Sway” Local Republican activists Debbie Brown and Lynne Cottrell share a similar story. After backing other Republican presidential candidates over the past several months, they have now swung over to Mitt Romney. Their rationale, on the eve of the Colorado caucuses, may bode well for the former Massachusetts governor, not just now, but also if he faces off in a general election against President Barack Obama. LINK

RICK SANTORUM
ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe: “Rick Santorum to President Obama, ‘We’re Not That Stupid’” Rick Santorum laid down the gauntlet here, pledging to campaign every day on the controversial regulation by the Department of Health and Human Services requiring Catholic hospitals and universities to provide contraception and the morning after pill if the Obama administration does not change its stance. He said the administration has been “hostile to people of faith, particularly Christians and specifically Catholics. LINK

The Washington Times’ Valerie Richardson: “Santorum pursues surge in Colorado, Minnesota” The Republican presidential race could be headed for another reshuffle Tuesday as Rick Santorum, who has lagged behind since his surprise Iowa victory, is once again challenging the dominance of front-runner Mitt Romney. Polling over the past week shows Mr. Santorum statistically tied with Mr. Romney  in Minnesota, besting him in Missouri, and running second to him but ahead of rival Newt Gingrich in Colorado, all of which hold contests Tuesday. LINK

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