The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday, September 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' Jayce Henderson and Amanda VanAllen

MITT ROMNEY ABC News' Sunlen Miller: " Despite OH Polling, Romney Camp 'Confident' They Are 'Inside Margin of Error'" The Obama campaign is "spiking the ball at the 30-yard-line" if they think recent poll numbers prove the president has clinched victory in the critical swing state of Ohio, one of Mitt Romney's top advisers said today. A Washington Post poll out today found President Obama with an eight point lead, but Romney advisers said their own internal polls paint a much more favorable picture for the Republican presidential nominee. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Seema Mehta: " Romney, in shift, says Obama has not raised taxes" Mitt Romney said Tuesday that President Obama did not raise taxes during his first term, contradicting a constant attack he has leveled on Obama - that his healthcare plan was a tax increase. "I admit this, he has one thing he did not do in his first four years - he's said he's going to do in the next four years - which is to raise taxes. LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan and Susan Crabtree: " Romney takes aim at foreign aid, ties future aid to trade" Seeking to carve out foreign-policy differences with President Obama, rival Mitt Romney on Tuesday said he wants to impose a bargain on countries seeking U.S. foreign aid: open economies to trade and investment in exchange for American taxpayers' generosity. Speaking to the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, where world leaders were gathered for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, Mr. Romney said Americans often are flummoxed by the billions of dollars sent overseas to countries that never seem to improve and, at worst, siphon the money into their leaders' pockets. LINK

USA Today's Jackie Kucinich: " Rand Paul aids Romney and Ryan in Ohio" Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan arrived in Ohio this week to news of dropping poll numbers and a widening gap in the Buckeye state between the Republican nominee and President Obama. Luckily, they brought back up. Sen. Rand Paul,R-Ky., joined the pair on the road Tuesday, and while he had planned to campaign for Romney, his appearance on the trail couldn't have come at a better time. LINK

Bloomberg's Julie Hirschfeld Davis: " Romney Negativity Muddies Message as Obama Leads in Poll" Republican Mitt Romney's negative ratings are preventing him from capitalizing on President Barack Obama's vulnerabilities in the race for the White House, according to a new poll that gives the incumbent a lead heading into the first of three presidential debates. Half of Americans hold an unfavorable view of Romney - a September high for a presidential challenger in the last three decades - and 49 percent of likely voters consider the former Massachusetts governor out-of-touch compared with 40 percent who say that of Obama in the latest Bloomberg National Poll conducted Sept. 21-24. LINK

UNITED NATIONS The Hills' Julian Pecquet and Amie Parnes: " Obama aims at Ohio and Cairo with speech to the United Nations" President Obama sought to counter Republican rhetoric that the Middle East is spinning out of control with a speech at the United Nations aimed as much at the angry crowds in Cairo, Egypt, as on-the-fence voters in Ohio. Obama called on the gathered leaders to "seize this moment" and "speak out forcefully against violence and extremism," adding that "real freedom is hard work." LINK

The New York Daily News' Rich Schapiro: " President Obama warns in United Nations General Assembly speech that time is running out for diplomacy to prevent Iran nukes" Thousands of protesters will mass near the United Nations Wednesday to protest bile-spewing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech to world leaders - as President Obama ramped up his own rhetoric. Obama on Tuesday warned the UN that time is running out to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. LINK

Politico's Josh Gerstein: " President Obama at U.N. gives robust defense of free speech" President Barack Obama used a high-profile speech to the United Nations Tuesday to deliver his most robust defense of the value of freedom of expression since an anti-Muslim video triggered protests against America across the Muslim world. While Obama's forceful endorsement of free speech rights was delivered to leaders of many regimes that repress critics, the president's message seemed intended as much for a domestic audience: He sought to quiet Republicans who have attacked him for failing to stand up for "American values." LINK

OBAMA VS. ROMNEY The Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler: " Romney, Obama Clash Over Education" The presidential candidates offered clashing views on education, with Republican Mitt Romney delivering some of his harshest judgments on teacher unions and President Barack Obama defending them. Mr. Obama attacked Mr. Romney for wanting to cut education spending, while Mr. Romney said it's wrong to saddle young people with more federal debt. LINK

The Boston Globe's Brian MacQuarrie: " Mitt Romney, President Obama courting Florida's Hispanics" Christian Martell shuttles back and forth from the kitchen to the small tables at Puerto Rico's Cafe in this Orlando suburb, ferrying food past artificial tropical plants to a smattering of Spanish-speaking customers who dine amid the bounce of Latin music. Martell, 31, who was born in Puerto Rico, voted in a presidential election for the first time in 2008 - for Barack Obama. And he plans to do so again. LINK

PRESIDENT OBAMA The Washington Post's Jerry Markon and Alice Crites: " Obama showering Ohio with attention and money" After President Obama pledged in March to create up to 15 manufacturing centers nationwide, the first federal grant went to a place at the heart of his affections: Ohio. When the Obama administration awarded tax credits to promote clean energy, the $125 million taken home by Ohio companies was nearly four times the average that went to other states. LINK

G.O.P. The New York Times' Richard Oppel Jr. and Ashley Parker: " A G.O.P. Reunion, With Plans for More Togetherness" For the first time in almost a month, Mitt Romney reunited on Tuesday with the man who many Republicans thought would charge up the presidential campaign: Representative Paul D. Ryan, the charismatic PowerPoint-wielder who can draw thousands to rallies that are really mostly giant question-and-answer sessions where they can ask "Paul," in effect, how to save the party, and the country. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS " Romney Campaign Gets Advice From Voters in Ohio" LINK

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