The Note's Must-Reads for Monday, July 16, 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

PRESIDENT OBAMA & FIRST FAMILY: ABC News' Matthew Larotonda: " Obama 'Won't Be Apologizing' for Bain Attacks on Romney" Republicans continue to call on President Obama and his campaign to give an apology for questioning Mitt Romney's role at Bain Capital. They won't be getting one. "No, we won't be apologizing," the president said in an interview aired today. LINK

The Hill's Meghashyam Mali: " Obama: 'We won't be apologizing' to Romney for Bain questions" President Obama rebuffed Mitt Romney's calls for him to apologize for attacks on the GOP candidate's record at private equity firm Bain Capital. "No, we won't be apologizing," said Obama in an interview with local Portsmouth, Virginia television station WAVY. Obama said Romney's business record was a fair target in the campaign. LINK

The New York Daily News' Alex Robinson and Alison Gendar: " Brief Broadway bomb scare as First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia attend 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' at Foxwoods Theatre" The First Lady and her daughters hit Broadway Sunday to watch "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" - and for a moment it looked like the women in the President's life might need Spidey's help. Before Michelle Obama and her girls, Sasha, 11, and Malia, 14, arrived at the Foxwoods Theatre, a boneheaded theatergoer joked to cops that his luggage might "blow up." LINK

The Washington Times' David Eldridge and Tim Devaney: " Obama camp hits hard on Bain slam" While Republicans on Sunday complained that the Obama campaign's latest round of attacks on Mitt Romney are blatantly untrue, unfair and demeaning to the office of the presidency, Team Obama fired off a blunt response: Stop whining. Spokesmen and surrogates from both campaigns took to the airwaves and hit the stump this weekend, punching and counter punching over the Obama campaign's aggressive new charges that Mr. Romney isn't telling the whole truth about when he stepped down as head of the investment firm he founded, Bain Capital. LINK

MITT ROMNEY: ABC News' Rick Klein: " 'World News' Political Insights: Mitt Romney Blasted Off Message in Hot Summer" Somehow, the summer of national economic discontent morphed into the summer of when Mitt Romney left Bain Capital and how many years' worth of tax returns he's released to the public. Along the way, Romney has lost control of his campaign message, and lost perhaps his best opportunity to define himself to undecided voters. LINK

The Washington Posts' Philip Rucker: " Romney tries to regain momentum with new focus on Obama's 'political payoffs'" Trying to shift the presidential campaign narrative away from his personal finances and tenure at Bain Capital, Republican Mitt Romney will launch a fresh assault this week accusing President Obama of political cronyism at the expense of middle-class workers. In a coordinated offensive starting Monday, the Romney and its allies will say that the president has been a "typical politician" and has demonstrated "systematic favoritism" toward top campaign fundraisers by lavishing them with federal appointments and their companies with taxpayer money and special government deals, according to campaign officials. LINK

Bloomberg's Lisa Lerer: " Republicans Urge Romney To Release Taxes, Change Debate" Anxious that Democrats are gaining an edge with voters, Republicans are pressuring Mitt Romney to reveal more about his business record at Bain Capital LLC and personal wealth as his campaign strategists weigh whether to recalibrate their response. "He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It's crazy," said Republican commentator Bill Kristol, who recently attended a weekend-long retreat for top Romney donors and strategists, on "Fox News Sunday" yesterday. "You gotta release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns." LINK

OTHER: USA Today's Susan Page: " Analysis: Obama, Romney and a turn in the debate on jobs" A week after President Obama came under fire for another disappointing unemployment report, his team has succeeded in turning the focus of the 2012 campaign from jobs in general to a particular job: the one Mitt Romney was or wasn't doing for Bain Capital from 1999 to 2002. The substance of the dispute is surely a muddle to many voters. Independent fact-checking organizations including and media outlets such as TheBostonGlobe are at odds over whether Romney can fairly be held responsible for business decisions the firm made during that time, some of which contributed to outsourcing American jobs overseas. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler: " President's Roots Are Cited Often In Speeches" President Barack Obama may be a best-selling author known to vacation on exclusive Martha's Vineyard. But listen to his stump speech, and his more modest roots are impossible to miss. His grandfather needed a government loan to afford college. His single mom struggled to raise two kids, while working and putting herself through school. LINK

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