The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday, July 10, 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, Carrie Halperin and Will Catine

MITT ROMNEY ABC News' Emily Friedman: " Romney Says There's Nothing Hidden in His Unreleased Tax Returns" Mitt Romney said there is "nothing hidden" in his tax returns that have yet to be released, responding to a question during a radio interview set to air later today regarding an onslaught of criticism from Democrats - including President Obama - on his refusal to be more transparent with his financial records. LINK

USA Today's Catalina Camia and David Jackson: " Romney, GOP Outraise Obama And Democrats Again In June" Mitt Romney's announcement Monday that he and the Republican Party had outraised President Obama for the second month in a row and ended June with a whopping $160 million in cash reserves set off new alarms inside Obama's campaign. LINK

PRESIDENT OBAMA The Hills' Amie Parnes and Bernie Becker: " Obama picks election-year tax fight with $250,000 ceiling for lower rate" President Obama on Monday called for the Bush-era tax rates to be extended for family incomes below $250,000 annually, thus reopening an election-year battle with Republicans. The move underscored both Obama's support for raising taxes on higher-income earners and his effort to cast himself as a populist while depicting Republican opponent Mitt Romney as a millionaire who is out of touch with the middle class. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Christi Parsons and Lisa Mascaro: " Obama draws line in tax debate" By calling on Republicans to approve a one-year extension of tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year, President Obama escalated the election-year focus on taxes, emphasizing a key distinction between the two parties and seeking to create a mandate for a tax plan after the election. Neither White House officials nor congressional leaders expect a tax bill to pass before November. LINK

The New York Daily News' Thomas M. Defrank and Alison Gendar: " President Obama and the Democrats are in panic mode after they pulled in ONLY $71M in June contributions, and got clocked by Romney and the GOP" Used to be that $71 million in campaign donations in a single month was cause to break out the bubbly - not fire off emails begging for more money. President Obama and the Democratic Party pulled in just that last month, and were so freaked out by how green the grass was on the other side of the fence that they immediately sent out an SOS email saying they were beat - "handily." LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler and Damian Paletta: " Obama To Push Extension Of Middle-Class Tax Cuts" President Barack Obama proposed a one-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year but would let them rise for wealthier Americans, a move that both shifts the election debate to tax rates and sets the table for a showdown with Republicans in Congress. LINK

The Boston Globe's Callum Borchers: " President Obama's Campaign Hits Mitt Romney on Foreign Assets, Calls For More Tax Returns" President Obama's reelection campaign continued to blast Mitt Romney on Sunday for offshore financial holdings and renewed its call for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to release additional tax returns. LINK

The New York Times' Nicholas Confessore: " Obama Trails Romney Again in Battle for Campaign Cash" In the battle for political cash, President Obama is finding himself in an unaccustomed place during the final months of the 2012 campaign: he is losing. Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee easily outraised the formidable Obama money machine for the second month in a row. A nonstop schedule of high-dollar events around the country brought in $106 million during June to Mr. Obama's $71 million, giving him and his party four times the cash on hand that it had just three months ago. LINK

The Washington Post's Tom Hamburger, Carol Leonnig and Zachary Goldfarb: " Obama's record on outsourcing draws criticism from the left" Barack Obama promised voters four years ago that he would work to slow the outflow of American jobs to other countries, proposing to revamp a federal tax code that encourages companies to maintain overseas operations. Obama as president has continued to call for rewriting the rules that allow U.S. corporations to avoid paying taxes for a time on income generated overseas. LINK

Politico's Reid Epstein: " Obama tries for a tax wedge" President Barack Obama launched his proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts for people making less than $250,000 per year with a quick caution - that it "really shouldn't" renew talk of class warfare. From the outset of his remarks in the East Room on Monday, Obama stressed his record as a tax cutter - repeating what he'd done "because sometimes, there's a little misinformation out there and folks get confused about it" - and said he already knew what the argument against him would be. LINK

The Boston Globe's Tracy Jan: " Obama focuses on middle class with tax cuts" President Obama called on Congress Monday to extend Bush-era tax cuts for middle-class families making less than $250,000 a year, but not for the wealthiest Americans -pitting himself against Republicans who would like the extension to apply to everyone. Obama spoke from the East Room of the White House following Friday's disappointing jobs report in an effort to reframe a tight election against presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. LINK

Get more pure politics at ABC and a lighter take on the news at

POLLS Bloomberg's John McCormick: " Independent Voter Surge Cuts Democrats' Swing State Edge" Independent voters are growing in numbers at the expense of Democrats in battleground states most likely to determine this year's presidential election, a Bloomberg News analysis shows.

The collective total of independents grew by about 443,000 in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and North Carolina since the 2008 election, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from state election officials. LINK

The Washington Times' " Obama loses ground to Romney in key measures of poll" Mitt Romney continues to hold a whisker-thin 1-percentage-point lead over President Obama in a head-to-head election match-up, but the former Massachusetts governor is eating into the president's air of inevitability, according to the latest The Washington Times/JZ Analytics poll released Monday night. LINK

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