The Note's Must-Reads for Friday October 5, 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 Ben Waldron

POST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE FALLOUT USA Today's Susan Davis and Aamer Madhani: " Democrats try to regroup in wake of the debate" After President Obama's disappointing debate performance, Wednesday, some Democratic strategists lamented that Obama missed opportunities to strike at what they saw as his GOP rival's inconsistencies on policy matters. Obama accused Romney of lying to the American people as he traveled through the critical battlegrounds of Colorado and Wisconsin on Thursday, suggesting that Romney was misrepresenting his previously stated views on hot-button topics such as taxes, health care and Wall Street reform. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Peter Nicholas: " Romney Presses Edge After Obama Stumble" President Barack Obama tried to recover Thursday from a lackluster debate performance that left Democrats questioning his strategy, as Mitt Romney used his strong showing to reinvigorate a party base worried about his election prospects. Mr. Obama's campaign advisers, who fielded a deluge of complaints Thursday from donors and supporters about the president's unexpectedly subdued debate presence, promised a midcourse correction. LINK

The Washington Times' Dave Boyer: " Reeling from round one, Obama goes back on attack" Reeling from his widely panned performance in the first presidential debate, President Obama and his campaign team Thursday sought to reassure unnerved supporters and to blame the president's difficulties on the shiftiness of Republican rival Mitt Romney. LINK

The Boston Globe's Brian MacQuarrie and Brian Mooney: " Romney's side recharged; Obama team recalculating" The solid verdict for Mitt Romney following the first presidential debate - on style points, at a minimum - has pushed the Obama campaign to rethink strategy and the Republican team to reload. The much-anticipated debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday was a surprise for advisers in both camps, both because of Obama's passive, almost listless approach, and for Romney's aggressive, crisp, and confident attack. How this performance, the most widely viewed event of the campaign so far, affects a race in which the president has opened leads in key battleground states might become apparent as new polls are released in the coming days. LINK

Bloomberg's Margaret Talev and Julianna Goldman: " Obama Shifts Tactics as Romney Campaign Finds Momentum" President Barack Obama found a new opponent: "The guy playing Mitt Romney last night." Obama yesterday tried to regain his campaign footing by going on the attack against his Republican challenger, an offensive supporters and Democratic strategists said he should have taken during his first debate with Romney. For his part, Romney said the president's new approach showed Obama recognized he didn't do well in the confrontation. LINK

ABC News' Emily Friedman and Shushannah Walshe: " Mitt Romney Pleased Debate Showed He and Obama Stand for Very Different Things" A jubilant Mitt Romney bounded on a concert stage here to capitalize on his strong debate performance last night, telling the crowd of thousands that Americans were finally able to see that he and the president "stand for something very different." "Now, last night was an important night for the country because people got the chance," said Romney, immediately interrupted by cheers as soon as he mentioned the debate. LINK

The Hill's Justin Sink: " Romney campaign exudes confidence, 'believes he can win'" Mitt Romney's campaign was noticeably more confident on Thursday, a day after the Republican candidate was widely judged to have beaten President Obama in the first presidential debate. Aides and surrogates seemed invigorated by Romney's performance, and were more combative in public. LINK

The New York Times' Michael D. Shear: " Campaign Gains a New Intensity in Debate's Wake" President Obama and Mitt Romney confronted what one feared and the other hoped was an altered campaign on Thursday, pounding new urgency into what was shaping up as a wide-open final sprint to Election Day. A day after the first debate, in which Mr. Obama was almost universally judged to have underperformed and Mr. Romney to have seized his opportunity, the president resolved to do what he did not do the night before: LINK

The Washington Post's Lori Montgomery " Romney benefits from rigorous defense of tax plan" With his forceful denial of charges that he would raise taxes on the middle class, Mitt Romney used Wednesday's debate to launch an aggressive new effort to regain his footing in the battle over taxes. In one of the debate's first exchanges, the Republican presidential nominee directly challenged President Obama's assertion that Romney's tax plan would finance big new breaks for the wealthy by wiping out popular deductions for those who earn less than $250,000 a year. LINK

47 PERCENT ABC News' Emily Friedman: " Romney Says He was 'Completely Wrong' About '47 Percent' Comments" Mitt Romney for the first time characterized his comments during a fundraiser that were surreptitiously filmed and caught the candidate essentially writing off 47 percent of Americans as "completely wrong." "Clearly in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then you're gonna say something that doesn't come out right," Romney said in an interview Wednesday night with Fox News' Sean Hannity. LINK

RECORD DEBATE VIEWERSHIP Politico's Dylan Byers: " Nielsen: 67.2 million watched debate" An estimated 67.2 million people watched the presidential debate last night, according to Nielsen.The total viewership, which includes 12 networks, was a 28 percent increase over the first presidential debate in 2008 between then-Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, which drew 52.4 million viewers. 63.2 million watched Obama and McCain's second debate; 56.5 million watched their third. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS " Romney Relishes in His 'Spirited' Debate Performance" LINK " How President Obama's Debate Strategy Helped Mitt Romney" LINK

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