The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday, April 05, 2012

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

Compiled by ABC News Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen, Carrie Halperin, and Erin McLaughlin

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The New York Daily News' Ethan Sacks: " 'Star Trek' fan President Obama flashes Vulcan hand gesture in picture with Nichelle Nichols""Star Trek" fans - particularly those who vote Democrat - are beaming over a photo posted Tuesday night by Lt. Uhura herself. Actress Nichelle Nichols posted a picture of herself in the Oval Office with President Obama, both showing the geeky Vulcan "Live long and prosper" hand gesture. LINK

MITT ROMNEY: ABC News' Chris Moody: " Poll shows Romney leading Santorum in Pennsylvania" Three weeks before the Pennsylvania Republican primary, a state poll shows Mitt Romney leading Rick Santorum by five percentage points. Santorum, who trails Romney by hundreds of delegates, has acknowledged that Pennsylvania is a must-win for his campaign. Santorum represented the state in Congress from 1991-2007. LINK

The Hill's Alexander Bolton: " Obama, Romney see each other as vulnerable to charges of elitism" The race for president may boil down to which candidate is viewed as the bigger snob.  President Obama and Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, have begun to circle each other over the charge of elitism, which both see as a threat. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Mark Z. Barabak: " Mitt Romney may have to run against his own image" With his latest string of primary wins, Mitt Romney took another big step in his seemingly unstoppable march to the Republican presidential nomination. But his victories - and the way Romney achieved them - have taken a toll that could do lasting harm as he turns to the general election campaign against President Obama. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Patrick O'Connor: " Romney Accuses Obama of Masking Agenda" Mitt Romney broadened his election-year critique of President Barack Obama on Wednesday, saying he misleads Americans about his true intentions in order to win re-election. The attack came a day after the former Massachusetts governor scored three momentum-building wins in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination and offered voters a taste of what the general election will look like if he becomes the nominee. LINK

The New York Times' Mark Landler: "Budget Author, a Romney Ally, Turns Into a Campaign Focus" With Mitt Romney on a steady march to the Republican presidential nomination after a sweep of three primaries, both he and President Obama are seizing on the Republican House budget, and its ambitious young architect, Representative Paul D. Ryan, as a defining issue of the unfolding campaign. LINK

The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty: " Romney sharpens his attack, says Obama is running a 'hide-and-seek campaign" Mitt Romney took a sharper line of attack against President Obama on Wednesday, accusing the Democratic incumbent of waging a "hide-and-seek campaign" that disguises his intentions and offers no solutions for the country's most intransigent economic problems. LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan: " Romney tells press to uncover Obama's secrets" Mitt Romney urged the country's news editors on Wednesday to delve more deeply into what he said were President Obama's secret second-term plans, telling them they have a duty to "do the seeking" to expose what the White House has in store. LINK

Bloomberg's Julie Hirschfeld Davis: " Romney Works to Regain Women Voters as He Pivots to Obama" For Mitt Romney, the drawn-out Republican primary contest that is coming to a close may turn out to be the easy part. His wins yesterday in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C., primaries solidified his front-runner status in the nomination contest, even if they didn't result in his Republican adversaries dropping out of the race. LINK

RICK SANTORUM: Politico's Alexander Burns: " Christian conservatives mull Rick Santorum support" For Rick  Santorum's most ardent admirers, the most difficult part of the 2012 campaign has officially begun. With the Republican establishment swinging hard behind Mitt  Romney, the delegate math looking grim and his own funds running low, Santorum must now rely more than ever on the loyalty of his Christian conservative base to carry him through a set of primaries that could be fatal to his campaign. LINK

Boston Globe's Callum Borchers: " Obama, Romney energy views are similar" President Obama's campaign began blitzing swing states this week with advertisements depicting the president as a champion of green energy, and Mitt Romney as a pawn of big oil companies. The Republican frontrunner has charged charge that Obama is overly focused on renewable resources, deliberately driving up gas prices, and stunting job growth by delaying projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline. But an examination of the two men's records reveals that Obama and Romney are hardly at sword's point on energy policy. LINK

NEWT GINGRICH: ABC News' Elicia Dover: " Newt Gingrich Says He's in Until Romney Reaches 1,144" Spring allergies took their toll on Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. In a scratchy, barely recognizable voice, he told a crowd here he expected to do well in North Carolina and set a "new tone" for the Arkansas, Texas and California primaries. LINK

OTHER: USA Today's Catalina Camia: " Sen. Rubio: GOP primary 'is over'" Sen. Marco Rubio today declared the GOP presidential race "is over" and once again insisted he will not be on his party's national ticket. The Florida senator, speaking at the opening of his new Palm Beach Gardens office, said there's no question that Mitt Romney will become the Republican Party standard-bearer following the GOP front-runners three primary victories on Tuesday night. LINK

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