The Note’s Must-Reads for Friday, July 20, 2012

By Jayce Henderson

Jul 20, 2012 3:00am

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 and Carrie Halperin

PRESIDENT OBAMA:
ABC News’ Mary Bruce & Devin Dwyer: “President Obama in Florida: Mitt Romney’s Medicare Plan Leaves Seniors ‘Out of Luck’” President Obama slammed Mitt Romney’s Medicare plan today, telling seniors in the battleground state of Florida that his rival’s proposal would force them to fend for themselves and hurt them financially. “He plans to turn Medicare into a voucher program,” the president told a rowdy crowd at Century Village. “Understand how that works. If the voucher isn’t worth what it takes to buy health insurance in the private marketplace, you’re out of luck. You’ve got to make up the difference. You’re on your own. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Michael Memoli: “Ahead of Romney trip, Obama says he’s bolstered U.S. – Israel ties” President Obama on Thursday said strategic cooperation between the United States and Israel “has never been closer,”  as he defended his handling of the key Mideast alliance in advance of his rival’s planned trip to the region. In an evening speech at a South Florida retirement community, the president expanded his usually brief summation of foreign policy achievements to focus on the importance of the U.S.-Israeli relationship at this “moment of great uncertainty,” particularly after the “barbaric attacks” on Israelis in Bulgaria. LINK

The Washington Times’ Dave Boyer: “Obama tries to explain entrepreneurs comments” Facing more bad news on the housing front and a surge in the polls by his Republican rival, President Obama changed his tune Thursday night about some roundly criticized comments that entrepreneurs don’t build businesses on their own. “I was saying the other day, we take pride in individual initiative and … we don’t like handouts,” Mr. Obama told supporters in West Palm Beach, Fla. “We don’t expect government to solve every problem and we don’t think the government should help people who don’t want to even help themselves.” LINK

Washington Posts’ Carole L. Lee and Arian Campo-Flores: “Florida Poses New Worry for Obama” President Barack Obama revived his attack Thursday on Republican plans to overhaul Medicare, as he opened a two-day swing through Florida, a state he won in 2008 but which his aides say is now more of a challenge.  The sour economy and housing market are creating problems for Mr. Obama in the state. Home prices have begun to rise, but nearly half of residential mortgages are underwater. Unemployment has dropped to 8.6% from its peak of 11.4%, but a state report found that most of the drop in the last six months came from people abandoning the labor force. LINK

The New York Times’ Mark Lander: “Obama, on the Trail, Plays for Time on Foreign Policy” President Obama spent a rare full day in the Oval Office after the deadly bombings in Syria and Bulgaria on Wednesday, calling the leaders of Russia and Israel and conferring with his national security staff. Then he took off again Thursday to spend the rest of the week on the campaign trail. LINK

The Washington Post’s Zachary A. Goldfarb: “Obama support for GE, Boeing, JP Morgan doesn’t always go both ways” President Obama has repeatedly embraced three titans of American commerce, General Electric, Boeing and JPMorgan Chase, showering their chief executives with praise and adopting policies that benefit the companies.  His economic stimulus package awarded $200 million in contracts to GE, according to the company, and he has traveled the world selling Boeing airplanes — even joking that he should receive a gold watch for how many he has sold. Obama rejected calls from some economists to break up the biggest banks after the financial crisis, leaving JPMorgan, the biggest of them all, whole. LINK

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN:
ABC News’ Arlette Saenz: “Vice President Joe Biden Hits Mitt Romney, GOP on Outsourcing” Speaking to a union in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden accused Mitt Romney and Republicans of fostering a business environment that promotes outsourcing. He accused Romney of making his business experience the hallmark of his campaign and even credited him for creating jobs – not at home, but overseas. LINK

MITT ROMNEY:
Boston Globe’s Heth Healy and Michael Kranish: “Romney kept reins on Bain, bargained hard on severance during absence” Shortly after Mitt Romney took a leave of absence from Bain Capital to run the Olympics in February 1999, he made a trip to Palm Beach, Fla. The firm Romney founded was meeting to celebrate its 15th anniversary as well as the men he had helped make extraordinarily wealthy. LINK

Bloomberg’s Julie Hirschfeld Davis: “Romney Goes on Offense Saying Obama Denigrates Business Success” Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, pressing to quiet debate over his wealth and business practices, is charging President Barack Obama with stressing his own re-election over job creation and being hostile to economic success.  Romney has sharpened his attacks on Obama this week in an effort to refocus the race on the president’s record, portraying him as disconnected from the concerns of ordinary Americans and inept at creating jobs. LINK

USA Today’s Gregory Korte: “Bain alumni raise $4.5 million for Romney” USA Today determined Mitt Romney’s bundlers by reviewing Federal Election Commission data, invitations to 85 Romney fundraising events obtained by the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation, campaign news releases and news accounts. President Obama releases the names of his bundlers publicly.  LINK

GOP AND CONDOLEEZA RICE:
Politico’s Tim Mak: “Poll: Republicans want Condoleezza Rice” Republican voters say former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is their top choice as Mitt Romney’s running mate, a new poll found.  Rice garnered 30 percent support, followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (19 percent), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (8 percent) and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (8 percent). LINK

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