The Note's Must-Reads for Monday, July 9, 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' Josh Haskell: " Protest Greets Mitt Romney at Hamptons Fundraiser" After a week vacationing in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney headed back to the fundraising circuit Sunday appearing with his wife Ann at three private residences in the Hamptons. One of the high-dollar events was held at the shorefront estate of billionaire David Koch, whose Southampton compound was tightly secured in part because of roughly 150 protesters in the area. Members of Occupy Wall Street and made up those protesting, shouting and holding signs illustrating their anger towards "money in politics." LINK

ABC News' Amy Walter: " Do Voters Need to Love Mitt Romney? 'World News' Political Analysis" At a fundraiser held right before the July 4 holiday, House Speaker John Boehner was asked by an attendee, "Can you make me love Mitt Romney?" Boehner replied, "The American people probably aren't going to fall in love with Mitt Romney. I'll tell you this: 95 percent of the people that show up to vote in November are going to show up in that voting booth, and they are going to vote for or against Barack Obama." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Maeve Reston: " Protesters raise cloud of sand as Romney raises $3 million in N.Y." They never got close, and Mitt Romney may not have even seen them, but protesters - some from Occupy Wall Street- took political theater to a new level Sunday outside the beachfront estate of billionaire David H. Koch, where the Republican candidate was raising money. Some of the 200 protesters marched down mile-long Coopers Beach toward the home in a cloud of sand, bearing banners and signs: "Your $50,000 ticket equals my child's education," "end corporate personhood" and "don't forget to tip the help." LINK The New York Daily News' Alison Gendar: " Mitt Romney hits the Hamptons and adds $3 million to his campaign war chest" Fresh off his summer vacation, Mitt Romney hit the Hamptons this weekend, digging for donations in the exclusive sands of the South Fork. The presumptive GOP nominee left his lakeside New Hampshire manse, where he had spent the July 4th week, to troll the beachfront enclaves of the absurdly rich. LINK

The Washington Times' Ben Wolfgang: " Romney's record on education includes successes, failures" Mitt Romney kept academic standards high, pushed for more charter schools and took other steps during his time as Massachusetts governor to keep the state in the top tier of student performance - but he stumbled in his efforts to institute merit pay for teachers, revamp the tenure system and other aims. Critics contend that the presumptive Republican nominee for president gave great speeches and PowerPoint presentations outlining his goals, but in a state dominated by Democrats and with an education establishment closely tied to labor unions, he failed to build the political partnerships necessary to advance major legislation. LINK

The Washington Posts' Philip Rucker: "Romney, in final stages of 'veepstakes,' is weighing when to pick running mate" en. Rob Portman broke away from his 17-year-old daughter's tour of his alma mater, Dartmouth College, to venture an hour south of here Saturday to trumpet the virtues of Mitt Romney. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty spent Thursday and Friday shadowing President Obama as he traveled through Ohio and Pennsylvania, taking turns tearing into the president as they stumped in front of "Romney Victory" banners. LINK

Boston Globe's Tracy Jan: " Mitt Romney's student loan plan criticized" As president, Mitt Romney promises to usher private lenders back into the federal student loan market, a lucrative industry that has come under intense scrutiny in recent years because of skyrocketing tuition and questionable practices by some lenders. But the move would cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars more over a decade without lowering interest rates for students, according to higher education analysts. The prime beneficiaries, critics say, would be student loan companies that stand to reap a financial boon for making virtually risk-free, government-backed loans. LINK

PRESIDENT OBAMA The Hills' Ben Geman: " Obama ad calls for Romney to release more tax returns" President Obama's reelection campaign unveiled a fresh round of criticisms of Mitt Romney's finances Sunday, shortly after several Democrats used the morning's political talk shows to mount similar attacks. The campaign released a new video that slams Romney for alleged reliance on tax havens, signaling a strong push to capitalize politically on a Vanity Fair magazine story about Romney's holdings outside the U.S. LINK

The New York Times' Mark Landler: " Obama Poised for New Fight With G.O.P. Over Tax Cuts" With a torpid job market and a fragile economy threatening his re-election chances, President Obama is changing the subject to tax fairness, calling for a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for people making less than $250,000. Mr. Obama plans to make his announcement in the Rose Garden on Monday, senior administration officials said LINK

USA Today's Aamer Madhani: " Jim Messina, Obama's campaign manager confident in strategy" Late last month, President Obama's campaign team revealed what sounded like devastating news: It spent more money in May than it raised.But the next day, Jim Messina, Obama's campaign manager, didn't sound concerned about the campaign's burn rate or worried about his ability to raise enough money to stay competitive with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. LINK

OTHER Wall Street Journal's Patrick O'Connor: " Military Cuts Loom as Late Campaign Issue" For all the focus on the unemployment rate heading into the November elections, the layoffs that could most complicate President Barack Obama's re-election prospects wouldn't take effect until early next year.Unless Congress and the White House reach a compromise by year-end, the Pentagon would have to slash roughly $50 billion more from the current fiscal-year budget in January. That prospect of wide layoffs could undercut Mr. Obama in battleground states heavily dependent on military spending, particularly Virginia. LINK

Politico's Jake Sherman and Seung Min Kim: " Dems face month of perilous votes" As the spotlight shifts unmistakably from Washington to the campaign trail, House Republicans have planned a series of hot-button votes over the next four weeks to contrast the party's agenda with that of Democrats and put President Barack Obama and Democratic candidates on the defensive. Very little - if any - of it will become law. The main goal is to boost the party's prospects on Election Day. LINK

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