The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday, October 11, 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, Amanda VanAllen, Carrie Halperin

PRESIDENT OBAMA: ABC News' Devin Dwyer: " President Obama Insists 'Fundamentals' of Election Favor Him Despite 'Bad Night' at Debate" President Obama says the "fundamentals" of the 2012 presidential race remain unchanged following a weak debate performance in Denver that rattled his supporters and gave fresh momentum to Republican challenger Mitt Romney. "Governor Romney had a good night. I had a bad night. LINK

The Hill's Niall Stanage, Amie Parnes and Jonathan Easley: " Obama fights erosion of female voters with attacks on abortion" Faced with a sudden erosion of female support in recent opinion polls, President Obama sought Wednesday to bolster his standing by blasting Mitt Romney on abortion rights. In an interview with ABC News, Obama accused Romney of trying to "cloud" his views. LINK

MITT ROMNEY: ABC News' Gregory J. Krieg: " Mitt Romney Tripped Up By Abortion Rhetoric" Mitt Romney promised today he would govern as a "pro-life president" less than 24 hours after telling an Iowa newspaper he saw "no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda." His earlier comments threatened to put him at odds with segments of his core constituency and box in running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, a staunch opponent of abortion rights who has been careful to keep in line with Romney's less strict approach. LINK

The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty:" Romney shifts to more moderate stances on taxes, immigration, health care, education" The final weeks of the presidential campaign are bringing Mitt Romney full circle, back to a question that has tugged at him for nearly two decades: What does he really believe? Although he declared himself "severely conservative" during the ­Republican primaries, the former Massachusetts governor has been sounding more moderate in recent days. LINK

VICE PRESIDENT DEBATE: The Washington Times' Susan Crabtree: " Biden's debate aim: Reclaim edge after Obama's subpar showing" With President Obama looking to an unpredictable and gaffe-prone Joseph R. Biden to get his campaign back on track in Thursday's debate, the pressure on the vice president couldn't be greater. Vice presidential match-ups usually don't have the power to change the course of the election, but this year could be different. Mr. Biden is acutely aware that Mr. Obama's dismal performance in his first faceoff with Republican rival Mitt Romney largely erased Mr. Obama's lead in several key battleground states, ratcheting up the stakes for his performance Thursday night at Centre College in Danville, Ky. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Robin Abcarian: " Paul Ryan prepares to face Joe Biden, his toughest debate foe yet" Paul D. Ryan's first debate performance was nothing like his opponent expected. It was 1998, and Ryan was a 28-year-old Wisconsin congressional aide with powerful Washington mentors. Lydia Spottswood was a nurse and president of the Kenosha City Council, who thought helping her community was fun. LINK

USA Today's Gregory Korte and Aamer Madhani: " Biden expected to be aggressor in VP debate" Both sides expect Vice President Biden to be on the offensive when he shares a Kentucky stage with GOP candidate Rep. Paul Ryan in the one and only televised vice presidential debate Thursday night. "He's got to go right at Ryan and shake him from the very beginning," said Chris Kofinis, a Democratic strategist. LINK

Politico's Dylan Byers: " Martha Raddatz takes center stage" If Martha Raddatz isn't a household name today, she will be tomorrow. Thanks to the firestorm of criticism over Jim Lehrer's passive performance at the first presidential debate last week and a flap over President Barack Obama attending her second wedding two decades ago, Raddatz, an ABC News correspondent, will come under intense scrutiny from tens of millions of Americans when she moderates Thursday's vice presidential debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan. LINK

SWING STATES / VOTING RIGHTS: The Wall Street Journal's Janet Hook: " Race Tightens in Two States" Mitt Romney is deadlocked with President Barack Obama in two key battlegrounds-Florida and Virginia-while still behind in Ohio, according to new polls taken after the Republican's strong performance in the first presidential debate. Mr. Romney gained support in all three of those states, especially among men and independent voters, three Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist Poll surveys found. LINK

The New York Times' Charlie Savage: " Federal Court Blocks Voter ID Law in South Carolina, but Only for Now" A federal court on Wednesday blocked South Carolina from enforcing its new voter photo ID law in next month's election, saying that there was not enough time to educate voters and officials about it. The ruling was the latest in a string of judicial interventions blunting a wave of Republican-led efforts to impose new restrictions on voting for the Nov. 6 election. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS: " President Obama on Debate Performance: 'I Had a Bad Night'" LINK

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