The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, May 03, 2012

By Amanda VanAllen

May 3, 2012 4:56am

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, Amanda VanAllen and Ben Waldron

NEWT GINGRICH
ABC News’ Joel Siegel: “Newt Gingrich $4 Million in Debt; Staffers and Creditors Fume” Newt Gingrich ends his White House dream today with his political committee facing a mountain of debts — owing about $4 million to scores of businesses and campaign workers around the country who fear they will never get paid.  Campaign watchdogs said the size of Gingrich’s debt is extraordinary — and could have been avoided if the candidate and his team had been more disciplined. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Elizabeth Williamson and Danny Yadron: “Gingrich Drops Out, Delays Romney Endorsement” For months, Republican leaders fretted because Mitt Romney’s rivals wouldn’t leave the playing field. Now the concern is that they won’t play ball. Newt Gingrich’s long march out of the GOP presidential race ended Wednesday, after a week of in-person and videotaped announcements of his bid’s imminent end. LINK

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza: “The end for Newt Gingrich or just another new beginning?” Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich brought his 2012 presidential campaign to an end today, closing another stage in a life lived in the national political spotlight for more than three decades.”Today I am suspending the campaign, but suspending my campaign does not mean suspending citizenship,” Gingrich said at the event in Arlington, Virginia this afternoon, saying he’d had an “amazing year.” LINK

MITT ROMNEY
ABC News’ Emily Friedman: “Mitt Romney Makes Fun of Obama Campaign Slogan During High-Dollar Fundraiser” Mitt Romney this evening, speaking to a group of high-dollar donors at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, poked fun at President Obama’s newly unveiled campaign slogan, “Forward,” remarking, “Forward, what, over the cliff?” At first, Romney seemed to muddle the president’s campaign slogan, according to an Associated Press report from the event. LINK

The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro, Helene Cooper and Ashley Parker: “Romney Team May Have Stirred Storm Over Gay Aide” It was the biggest moment yet for Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team: a conference call last Thursday, dialed into by dozens of news outlets from around the globe, to dissect and denounce President’s Obama record on national security. LINK

USA Today’s Catalina Camia: “Pro-Romney super PAC starts $4.3M ad campaign” The super PAC supporting Mitt Romney begins a major TV blitz Thursday in nine battleground states, kick-starting its general election efforts with a $4.3 million investment. The ad campaign targets Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia — all states that will help decide what is already shaping up to be a close race between President Obama and Romney. LINK

Bloomberg’s John McCormick: “Romney Storytelling Short on Voter-Connecting Details” At a Wisconsin campaign stop last month, Mitt Romney tried to empathize with economically stressed voters by telling the story of a landscaper’s concerns about rising gasoline prices. “I met a guy who worked for the city and he was working, I think, in the landscape division for the city,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said at an April 2 town-hall meeting at an oil company in Milwaukee. LINK

Politico’s Maggie Haberman: “Michele Bachmann for Mitt Romney” The wait is over. Her endorsement is coming tomorrow, per CBS News: As competitors on the stump, Bachmann often contrasted herself to Romney by saying that she was the only true conservative in the race, as well as the candidate favored by the tea party. The endorsement from the House member from Minnesota could help him attract the staunch conservatives who shunned him during the primaries, preferring Bachmann and other more ideological candidates. LINK

The LA Times’ Seema Mehta and Maeve Reston: “Mitt Romney tries out potential running mates” When Sen. Kelly Ayotte joined Mitt Romney for a tour of fishing boats this week, she was doing more than campaigning in her home state for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and for slashing President Obama’s regulatory policies. She was one of a number of political stars who have shared the stage with Romney in recent days, auditioning — in the view of many — to be his running mate. LINK

PRESIDENT OBAMA
The Washington Times’ Susan Crabtree and Ashish Kumar Sen: “Obama’s deal with Afghans angers war opponents” The long-term partnership that President Obama signed with the Afghan government commits the U.S. to a role in the troubled nation for at least a dozen more years, leaving critics fuming over the uncertain costs of a conflict that already has stretched for a decade. LINK

The Hill’s Niall Stanage: “Obama asks voters to look back” The message President Obama will be pushing as he officially launches his reelection campaign this weekend is clear, thanks to the seven-minute video ad released by his campaign earlier this week. Entitled “Forward,” the video spends a good deal of time looking backward — not just to the achievements of his first term, but to the scale of the economic crisis that confronted him when he first took office. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS
“Newt Gingrich Officially Suspends Campaign”  LINK
“Newt Gingrich to Sheldon Adelson: Thanks for the Cash” LINK

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