The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday, July 26 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' Carrie Halperin Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen and Ben Waldron


ABC News' Mary Bruce: " Obama - GOP Holding Middle-Class Tax Cuts 'Hostage'" Just hours after the Senate voted to extend tax cuts for the middle class, President Obama accused House Republicans of holding the tax cuts "hostage" until the nation agrees to spend $1 trillion on tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. Speaking to supporters at the House of Blues, the president praised the Senate for moving forward with his plan to extend the Bush-era tax rate for families earning less than $250,000 a year and to let the rate expire for higher earners. LINK

Bloomberg's Joe Sobczyk and Roger Runningen: " Obama Pledges To Seek Consensus On Reducing Gun Violence" President Barack Obama vowed to seek a consensus on reducing gun violence in the wake of a mass shooting in Colorado last week, while his Republican challenger Mitt Romney said the U.S. doesn't need new limits on firearms. Obama, addressing a conference of the National Urban League in New Orleans yesterday, said the nation must look beyond a single tragedy and find a solution to the everyday violence that "plagues so many cities." He repeated his support for reinstating the federal assault weapons ban to keep them out of the hands of criminals. LINK

Politico's Darren Samuelsohn: " Obama: AK-47s belong on battlefield, not streets" President Obama touched the sensitive issue of guns here on Wednesday, pivoting off last week's Colorado movie theater shootings to call for a "consensus around violence reduction" in the country. With the last public event of a four-day trip that started with a visit to the Aurora, Colo., hospital where almost two dozen victims were brought after the shootings, Obama said he supports measures to conduct background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, fugitives and the mentally ill. LINK

The Hill's Justin Sink: " Obama campaign stepping up damage-control over remark" President Obama's campaign scrambled to combat Republican efforts to highlight his "you didn't build that" remark - a sign there are concerns the story could have legs far into the election cycle. Team Obama released a new television ad late Tuesday with the president himself directly addressing the controversy. And the Democratic National Committee circulated a memo Wednesday detailing how it would respond to the GOP messaging. LINK


Boston Globe's Callum Borchers: " Romney says US doesn't need stricter gun laws" Mitt Romney, responding to the deadly shooting rampage in Aurora, Colo., asserted Wednesday that the United States does not need stricter gun laws, saying they could not have stopped the killing of a dozen people by a lone gunman at a movie theater. "I don't happen to believe that America needs new gun laws," Romney said in an interview with NBC News, which was filmed in London on the first day of the candidate's weeklong trip to Europe and Israel. LINK

The Washington Times' Seth McLaughlin: " Romney uses trip to stress foreign policy" Taking a brief turn from the domestic issues that have dominated the campaign, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney kicks off a three-nation overseas trip Thursday that gives him the chance to showcase his differences with President Obama on the foreign policy front and to convince voters that he has the political chops to be a major world player. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Colleen McCain Nelson: " Romney: Tougher Gun Laws Won't Stop Violence" Mitt Romney rejected the idea that tougher gun laws could have prevented the deadly rampage in Aurora, Colo., saying in an interview Tuesday that a legislative remedy would not thwart people who want to cause harm."Just having a law saying someone can't do a bad thing doesn't always keep a person from doing a bad thing," the presumptive Republican presidential nominee told NBC's Brian Williams. LINK


The New York Times' Jeremy W. Peters: " Negative Ads Hit at Identity to Shape Race " The man looks incredulous, his voice rising in exasperation as he tells President Obama to stop demonizing small-business owners. "We need somebody who believes in America," he says, right before viewers hear, "I'm Mitt Romney, and I approved this message." Minutes earlier on the same local NBC station here, anyone watching commercials between rounds of "American Ninja Challenge" would have seen Mr. Obama's latest attack. LINK


" Laura Bush's Advice for Ann Romney" LINK

" Mitt Romney Adviser Sparks 'Anglo Saxon' Controversy " LINK


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