The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday July 3rd, 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 Will Cantine


The New York Times' Jodi Rudoren: " Romney, an Eye on Campaign, Plans a Trip to Israel" Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, will visit Israel this summer to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other leaders, a senior aide to the prime minister confirmed on Monday evening. Mr. Romney, who has pledged to "do the opposite" of the Obama administration on matters pertaining to Israel, is also expected to meet with Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority; President Shimon Peres of Israel; the American ambassador, Daniel B. Shapiro; and leaders of the opposition Labor Party in Jerusalem. LINK

Politico's Alexander Burns: " Mitt Romney's tax trap" The path Mitt Romney needs to walk on health care got a little bit narrower Monday, when one of the Republican's top advisers declared in a TV interview the presumptive GOP nominee agrees with the Obama administration that the individual mandate to buy health insurance is a penalty, not a tax. The comments by Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom go to the core of the political clash that has unfolded between President Barack Obama and the GOP since last week's Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act. LINK

USA Today's Martha T. Moore: " Romney Sets Campaign Sights On New Hampshire" When the Fourth of July parade kicks off Wednesday in the lakeside resort of Wolfeboro, NH, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will fall into step. He'll interrupt a week's vacation with his family at their nearby summer home to walk the route past tourists, cameras and presumably, New Hampshire voters. LINK

USA Today's Jackie Kucinich: " Romney Campaign Enters 'Message Mayhem' On Insurance Mandate" Republicans spent the weekend deriding a key part of the Affordable Care Act as a tax, but they were blindsided Monday when a top adviser for Mitt Romney said the presidential candidate disagrees. Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom said on MSNBC the presumptive GOP nominee does not believe the individual mandate - similar to the one passed in Massachusetts when Romney was governor - is a tax. LINK

The Washington Times' David Sherfinski: " Romney goes against GOP on 'tax' label" In the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling last week, Republicans on Capitol Hill spent four days laying out an attack on President Obama's health care law as a massive tax increase. On Monday, Mitt Romney's top campaign strategist undercut them. Eric Fehrnstrom said Mr. Romney agrees with Mr. Obama that the law's punishment for flouting the individual mandate and not buying health insurance is a "penalty," not a tax - just like the legislation Mr. Romney signed as governor of Massachusetts. LINK


ABC News' Laura E. Davis: " Holder: GOP has made me a 'proxy' to attack Obama" In his first interview since the House of Representatives voted to hold him in contempt of Congress on Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder told the Washington Post that Republicans have made him a "proxy" to attack President Barack Obama. LINK

Bloomberg's Kate Andersen Brower: " Obama Invokes McCain As Romney Cites Clinton To Make Case" To some partisans, it may sound jarring: President Barack Obama talks about how he and former rival John McCain were simpatico in 2008 while Mitt Romney fondly recalls Bill Clinton's White House tenure. Yet lauding the prominent elder statesmen from the opposing party has become a regular feature of the 2012 presidential race, with Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, using Clinton to score points against Obama the same way the president seeks such an advantage by invoking McCain. LINK

The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty and N.C. Aizenman: "Romney camp sides with Obama that health insurance mandate is not tax" Mitt Romney's presidential campaign on Monday rejected a Republican attack on the Affordable Care Act, repudiating a contention made in last week's Supreme Court decision that the law's requirement that individuals carry medical coverage amounts to a tax. The Romney team's refusal to invoke the word "tax" with regard to the individual mandate puts the candidate at odds with others in his party at a moment when Republicans are attempting to capi­tal­ize on the Supreme Court's decision, which deemed President Obama's health-care law constitutional. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Peter Nicholas and Daniel Lippman: " Wall Street Is Still Giving to President" President Barack Obama called Wall Street executives "fat cats," criticized their bonuses and tried to raise their taxes. But, defying expectations, the securities and investment industry has remained an important part of the Obama fundraising effort. Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee raised more than $14 million from the securities and investment industry through the end of April, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. LINK

The Hill's Jonathan Easley: " Team Romney muddies GOP message after healthcare ruling" Mitt Romney's presidential campaign broke with congressional Republicans on Monday by arguing that the individual mandate upheld by the Supreme Court last week is a penalty, not a tax. The split undercut a forceful Republican line of attack, leaving one GOP strategist furious with the Romney campaign. LINK

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