The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday, August 8, 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, Carrie Halperin, and Will Cantine

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Politico's Darren Samuelsohn and Manu Raju: " Obama's hand forced on sequester" President Barack Obama - with a big nudge from Congress - is about to get much more specific about a touchy topic in the heat of his reelection campaign. Legislation Obama signed into law Tuesday will force him to detail early next month how he'd make the first phase of $1.2 trillion in spending cuts across the federal budget, from defense to education to the environment. LINK

USA Today's Catalina Camia: " White House Race Is 'Romney Hood' Vs. 'Obamaloney'" The presidential campaign now boils down to "Romney Hood" vs. "Obamaloney." Mitt Romney was asked by Fox News Tuesday about President Obama criticizing him as "Romney Hood," suggesting that his rival would boost taxes on the poor so that the wealthy would get tax cuts. LINK

USA Today's David Jackson: " Obama: $30 Million More For Drought Relief" President Obama directed the Agriculture Department today to authorize another $30 million in drought relief. LINK

USA Today's Lori Robertson: " Fact Checking: Obama Not Trying To Curb Military Early Voting" Mitt Romney wrongly suggests the Obama campaign is trying to "undermine" the voting rights of military members through a lawsuit filed in Ohio. The suit seeks to block state legislation that limited early voting times for nonmilitary members; it doesn't seek to impose restrictions on service members. LINK

MITT ROMNEY: ABC News' Greg Holyk: " Romney's Popularity Stays Low, Obama's Is Better, But With Challenges" Mitt Romney is laboring under the lowest personal popularity ratings for a presumptive presidential nominee in midsummer election-year polls back to 1984. But Barack Obama has his own challenges in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, notably among registered voters, and with much weaker numbers among men than women. LINK

ABC News' Gregory Krieg and Emily Friedman: " Romney Accuses Obama Of Trying To 'Gut Welfare Reform'" Mitt Romney Tuesday charged President Obama with "taking the work requirement out of welfare," pointing to the administration's July decision to grant individual states waivers on certain federal work requirements. LINK

The Hill's Mike Lillis and Justin Sink: " Romney uses Clinton against Obama" Mitt Romney on Tuesday launched an aggressive attack on President Obama's economic platform, accusing the administration of "gutting" the bipartisan welfare reforms championed by President Clinton 16 years ago. In a full-court press of campaign speeches, cable news interviews and a new television ad, Romney repeatedly invoked Clinton to hammer Obama for granting new flexibility to state welfare programs. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Seema Mehta and Christi Parsons: " Romney accuses Obama of trying to undo welfare reform" Courting frustrated middle-class voters, Mitt Romney accused President Obama on Tuesday of trying to weaken work requirements for welfare recipients, feeding a "culture of dependency" and undermining a hard-fought bipartisan agreement that is credited with reducing poverty in America. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Sara Murray: " Romney Attacks Obama Over Welfare Reform" Escalating an attack on his rival for the White House, Mitt Romney on Tuesday accused President Barack Obama of gutting welfare's work requirement, a central element of bipartisan changes to the program enacted more than a decade ago. The White House said the accusation was false and that work requirements would remain. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Patrick O'Conner: " Romney On His Dad And Free McDonald's" Mitt Romney's finity for fast food is well known at this stage in the White House race, but the likely GOP nominee revealed Tuesday that he comes by the craving honestly, inheriting it from his dad, former Michigan Gov. George Romney. LINK

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: ABC News' Holly Bailey: " Bill Clinton Calls Romney's Welfare Claims 'Not True'" Former President Bill Clinton is pushing back against Mitt Romney's claim that President Barack Obama is trying to reverse bipartisan welfare reforms he signed into law in 1996. LINK

GUN CONTROL / SIKH TEMPLE: ABC News' Emily Friedman: " Romney Slips, Refers To Shooting Site As 'Sheik' Temple" Mitt Romney misspoke Tuesday when referring to the shooting in Wisconsin that took place at a Sikh temple, mistakenly using an Arab honorific in reference to the religious group. LINK

The Boston Globe's Callum Borchers: " On Guns, Obama And Romney Hard To Pin Down" As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney signed a state law banning assault weapons and hiked gun license fees by 300 percent. During his US Senate run in 1994, Romney endorsed a federal assault weapons ban and also backed the Brady Bill, which required background checks on people who purchase guns from federally licensed dealers. LINK

VOTERS / OTHER: The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg and Allison Kopicki: " Polls Underline Stubborn Splits in 3 Key States" For all of the Democratic attacks painting Mitt Romney as an out-of-touch elitist who will help the rich at the expense of the middle class, he is maintaining the traditional - and sizable - Republican advantage among a politically vital constituency, white working-class voters in the states most likely to decide the presidential election. LINK

The Washington Times' David Hill: " Lieberman rips Romney and Obama for high negativity in the campaign" Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman slammed the Obama and Romney campaigns Tuesday for engaging in what he considers record-high negativity during this year's presidential race. Mr. Lieberman, an independent former Democrat, made his comments on the same day that a pro-Obama political action committee debuted an ad that features a former steelworker linking Bain Capital's closure of his plant to his wife's death from cancer. LINK

Bloomberg's Julie Hirschfeld Davis: " Bernanke's Nightmare Audit Pushed For Romney's Platform" Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke calls it his "nightmare scenario." One of Mitt Romney's top economic advisers called it "trouble." Yet as they look to their national convention starting in Tampa on Aug. 27, Republicans are considering including a plank in their party platform calling for a full audit of the central bank. LINK

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