The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, August 22, 2012

By Amanda VanAllen

Aug 22, 2012 2:52am

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 www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News’ Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen, Carrie Halperin and Ben Waldron

PRESIDENT OBAMA
ABC News’ Jake Tapper: “Obama Campaign Will Blast Email from Sandra Fluke About Akin Comments and Republican Presidential Platform” The Obama campaign will later today send out a mass e-mail to supporters from abortion rights activist Sandra Fluke criticizing the comments of embattled Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., and trying to tie them to the GOP presidential platform, ABC News has learned. The email will be just the latest attempt by the Obama campaign to link the presumptive Republican presidential ticket to Akin, whose widely condemned (and scientifically false) remarks about rape have been disputed by both Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., in addition to almost every national Republican official with a pulse. LINK

The Washington Times’  Jim McElhatton: “Labor Department spends stimulus funds for ads during Olbermann, Maddow shows” The Labor Department paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal stimulus funds to a public relations firm to run more than 100 commercials touting the Obama administration’s “green training” job efforts on two MSNBC cable shows, records show. The commercials ran on MSNBC on shows hosted by Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann in 2009, but the contract didn’t report any jobs created, according to records reviewed recently by The Washington Times. LINK

PAUL RYAN
The Hills’ Daniel Strauss: “Ryan: I’ve got more experience on foreign policy than ’08 Obama” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the Romney campaign’s vice-presidential candidate, argued that he has more foreign-policy experience than President Obama did when he ran for president. “Well, most of the traveling I’ve done throughout my 14 years in Congress has been to the Middle East. You know, I’ve had men and women to war on more than one occasion,” Ryan said in a taped interview set to air on Fox News’s “Hannity” show Tuesday night. LINK

OBAMA/ROMNEY
Bloomberg’s Jonathan D. Salant: :”Obama Leads Romney In Poll Showing Disdain For Congress” President Barack Obama holds a four- percentage-point lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that also shows low approval ratings for Congress.  The poll released yesterday showed Obama with 48 percent backing, Romney with 44 percent. Obama has never trailed in the survey, holding a 6-point lead last month, 49 percent to 43 percent, and advantages of between one and six percentage points during the last 12 months. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Michael A. Memoli: “President Obama gets personal in attack on Romney education plan” Pressing a contrast with his rivals, President Obama expanded his critique of the Republican budget blueprint Tuesday to focus on education policy, arguing that Mitt Romney would reverse his administration’s policies to aid education despite the consequences to the economy. For the president, who addressed a crowd of about 3,300 people at Capital University on the eastern edge of Ohio’s capital city, the policy wasn’t just about politics. LINK

SENATE
The Boston Globe’s Michael Levenson: “Scott Brown ahead of Elizabeth Warren in new poll” Elizabeth Warren stepped up her attacks against Scott Brown over women’s issues today as a new poll showed her trailing the Republican senator by five points. The automated phone survey conducted Aug. 16 through Aug. 19 by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning firm, indicated Brown is ahead 49 percent to 44 percent, the first time he has led in the firm’s polling since June 2011. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.  LINK

MITT ROMNEY
Politico’s Byron Tau: “In Obama email, Fluke accuses Romney of Being in ‘lockstep’ with Akin” A new Obama campaign email by activist Sandra Fluke ties Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to Rep. Todd Akin’s controversial comments about “legitimate rape.” Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan tried to distance themselves from the remark — but the fact is they’re in lockstep with Akin on the major women’s health issues of our time,” Fluke wrote in the email to supporters. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King Jr. and Danny Yardon: “In Tight Race, Romney Faces Hurdles” Heading into next week’s Republican convention, Mitt Romney remains within striking distance of President Barack Obama but faces steep challenges in inducing voters to warm up to him as a candidate, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has found. Mr. Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate has stirred excitement within the GOP that he can defeat the president. But the poll found little evidence the pick will affect the election, beyond helping unify Mr. Romney’s conservative base. LINK

AKIN / GOP
The New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman: “Ignoring Deading to Quit, G.O.P. Senate Candidate Defies His Party Leaders” Representative Todd Akin on Tuesday ignored a deadline to abandon Missouri’s Senate race and vowed to remain the Republican nominee in defiance of his party’s leaders, including the presidential standard-bearer, Mitt Romney. LINK

The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe and Rosalind Helderman: “Akin comments expose GOP rift over abortion” Rep. Todd Akin’s controversial comments on abortion and rape — and the Missouri Republican’s vow Tuesday to continue his U.S. Senate campaign — have given Democrats an opening on an issue on which they enjoy broad public support. LINK

The New York Daily News’ Kristen A. Lee: “Pro-life doctor John Willke, linked to Akin’s ‘forcible rape’ claims, endorsed Romney in 2007” During his 2008 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney welcomed the endorsement of a pro-life doctor linked to Rep. Todd Akin’s widely condemned statement that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy. Dr. John C. Willke is a leading proponent of the view that women are unlikely to become pregnant by “forcible rape,” a theory he laid out in a 1999 article on the subject. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS
Todd Akin Refuses to Drop Out of RaceLINK

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