The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday, April 12, 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 and Carrie Halperin

MITT ROMNEY ABC News' Emily Friedman: " Mitt Romney on Offense on 'War on Women', Packs Events with Female Business Leaders" The Mitt Romney campaign is going on the offense addressing a perceived gender gap, filing in groups of women at his events, repeating again and again their argument that more than 92 percent of jobs lost under the Obama administration were held by women and now sending a barrage of statements from female politicians disparaging the President's economic policies. "I was disappointed in listening to the president as he's saying, 'Oh Republicans are waging a war on women,'" Romney said today, speaking at Alpha Graphics in downtown Hartford, a female-run business. LINK

The New York Daily News' Aliyah Shahid and Jonathan Lemire: " Mitt Romney suggests that Rick Santorum will help him make his pitch to voters on the campaign trail" Rick Santorum appears poised to help Mitt Romney make a pitch for the Oval Office. A day after ending his own White House bid, Santorum seemed set to join Romney's team and hit the campaign trail with his former foe.   LINK

The Boston Globe's Christopher Rowland and Callum Borchers: " GOP wing remains cool to Romney" In Iowa, Tea Party activist Ryan Rhodes said he has a "really good clothespin." That would be for his nose, he said, when he votes for Mitt Romney in November.  Grass-roots conservatives said Wednesday they would reluctantly get behind the former Massachusetts governor now that he has all but sewn up the Republican nomination for president. LINK

USA Today's Jackie Kucinich: "Romney tries to win over women voters" A day after essentially clinching the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney zeroed in on his next critical task: convincing female voters he is a better choice than President Obama. At Alpha Graphics, a woman-owned business in Hartford, Conn., Romney stood with a half-dozen female small-business owners and railed against the Obama administration's record on women's employment. LINK

The New York Times' Ashley Parker and Trip Gabriel: " Romney Taking Steps to Narrow His Gender Gap" Mitt Romney moved Wednesday to confront one of his most vexing general election problems - how to narrow the gender gap he faces against President Obama - but his campaign immediately found itself squeezed between its intensifying efforts to appeal to women and its need to avoid alienating conservatives.  LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan: " Romney's wooing of female vote hits early snag" With the general election campaign unofficially under way, Mitt Romney's effort to win back female voters got off to a rocky start Wednesday when his campaign was stumped temporarily over whether he supports the 3-year-old Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. LINK

PRESIDENT OBAMA The Wall Street Journal's Carol E. Lee and Peter Nicholas: " Obama Campaign's Plan Takes Shape" President Barack Obama's election-year plan is rapidly taking shape, with his first 2012 campaign rallies set for next month, now that Mitt Romney has cemented his status as the likely Republican nominee. Mr. Obama's advisers will try to capitalize on what they see as a turning point in the election season-the emergence of a presumptive Republican nominee who can serve as a useful foil for attracting campaign donations, energizing the president's political base, and motivating his campaign-in-waiting at its headquarters in Chicago. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Christi Parsons and Seema Mehta: " President Obama enlists wealthy in support of 'Buffett rule'" President Obama plugged his plan to increase taxes on the wealthy yet again Wednesday, but this time with a new twist - appearing alongside rich people who support his so-called Buffett rule.  The proposal has become a favorite political theme for the president, who touted it in a speech last week, then again at events in Florida on Tuesday. LINK

GOP Bloomberg's Heidi Przybyla: " Democrats Stay Silent as Republicans Run Obama Attack Ads" Republican-aligned groups are hitting President Barack Obama with almost $2 million in attack ads and the response so far has been silence. The reason: Democratic groups formed to counter those charges don't have the money to do it. LINK

ANN ROMNEY Politico's Maggie Haberman: " Dem operative criticizes Ann Romney, ignites storm" Hilary Rosen, a Democratic operative with SKD Knickerbocker, touched off a Twitter storm tonight after she went on CNN and said that Ann Romney has "never worked a day in her life." The statement was tweeted and retweeted, with a number of people condemning the statement as an attack on the candidate's wife, who was a stay-at-home mom who also raised the couple's five boys, and who has suffered from MS and breast cancer. LINK

The Washington Post's Philip Rucker: " Ann Romney responds to Democratic pundit saying she 'never worked a day in her life'" The rhetorical war over women between President Obama and Mitt Romney escalated Wednesday night as Romney's wife Ann launched a Twitter account to personally respond to a Democratic pundit who had dismissed her knowledge about the economy by saying she "never worked a day in her life." LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS " L.A. Mayor: Romney 'Has No Credibility' on Immigration" LINK " L.A. Mayor: Obama Will Overwhelmingly Win Latinos" LINK 

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