The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday October 25, 2012

Oct 25, 2012 3:30am

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’ Carrie Halperin, Jayce Henderson and Danielle Genet

PRESIDENT OBAMA
ABC News’ Devin Dwyer: “Obama Talks Donald Trump, Tigers With Jay Leno on ‘Tonight Show’” President Obama’s 48-hour non-stop campaign “extravaganza” took a detour from the battleground states Wednesday for a visit to Los Angeles and the “Tonight Show,” where Obama poked fun at his first debate performance and Donald Trump, and hinted that he’s rooting for Detroit in baseball’s World Series. Hours after Trump unveiled a dud of a potential “bombshell” against Obama – a call on the president to release his college records in exchange for a $5 million donation to charity – Leno asked the president why the media mogul and reality TV star seems to have it out for the president. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Michael A. Memoli: “Obama objects to Mourdock’s rape comment, skewers Trump” President Obama  told Jay Leno Wednesday night that Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock‘s comments about pregnancy and rape  illustrate why men alone should not be making decisions about women’s issues.  “Rape is rape. It is a crime,” Obama told the “Tonight Show” host in an interview set to air this evening, according to an account from a pool reporter traveling with the president.  LINK

The Washington Times’ Dave Boyer: “Obama says Latino vote is key to victory, vows immigration reform in 2013” The Obama campaign’s reliance on Hispanic voters in the upcoming election was on full display Wednesday as President Obama dangled the prospect of immigration reform next year, and a top aide predicted that the country’s fast-growing number of minority voters will propel the president to a second term over rival Mitt Romney next month.  LINK

The Washington Post’s Lori Montgomery and Peter Wallsten: “Obama says he’ll renew pursuit of ‘grand bargain,’ offering specifics on agenda” President Obama, criticized as failing to offer a vision for a potential second term, has begun sketching out his agenda with greater specificity in recent days, including a pledge to solve the nation’s in­trac­table budget problems within “the first six months.” In an interview made public Wednesday, Obama said he would pursue a “grand bargain” with Republicans to tame the national debt and would quickly follow that with a push to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. LINK

Politico’s Jennifer Epstein: “Obama counting on ground game” President Barack Obama’s campaign is confident that its ground game will produce the winning margin in November — but while they’re well ahead of Mitt Romney, things are a lot tougher than they were in 2008. The race is tighter. Enthusiasm is lower. Canvassers face voters disappointed in Obama’s first term. Phone bankers find undecideds seriously considering a vote for Mitt Romney. And they’re facing competition from a joint Romney-Republican National Committee operation that’s deeper and more robust than what John McCain put together four years ago. LINK

Bloomberg’s Lisa Lerer and Margaret Talev: “Obama Says Republicans Risk Alienating Hispanic Voters” President Barack Obama said Hispanic voters may make the difference in his re-election chances because his rival Mitt Romney and other Republicans have alienated the nation’s biggest minority group with anti- immigrant rhetoric. With 13 days until the presidential election, the two candidates stopped in some of the battleground states that both campaigns say will decide the election. While Obama targeted voting groups he’s counting on to win re-election, Romney focused on the slow recovery of the U.S. economy under Obama. LINK

ROMNEY
USA Today’s Martha T. Moore: “Romney avoids entertainment TV” It has become so standard for presidential candidates to visit all kinds of TV shows to grab the attention of all kinds of voters that as President Obama heads to an MTV forum on Friday, it’s more notable who’s not going along: Mitt Romney. On Wednesday, Obama visited with Jay Leno on his late-night chat show; last week he sat down with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Colleen McCain Nelson and Laura Meckler: “Romney’s Calls for Change Prompt an Obama Warning” As Mitt Romney makes his final pitch to voters, he is casting himself as the candidate of change, the only one in the presidential race who can fix Washington. It is an attempt at role reversal, as the Republican presidential nominee tries to own the message that President Barack Obama used effectively in 2008 to persuade voters that he could move the country beyond its partisan stalemate. LINK

The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Parker: “Romney Upbeat, but Math Is the Same” Mitt Romney is savoring the energy surrounding his candidacy, talking with rising confidence about his ability to overtake President Obama in the closing days of the race. He dwells far less on the biggest obstacle facing his campaign: the Electoral College. LINK

The Hill’s Jonathan Easley: “Romney gains favorability, Obama wins over women in latest polls” A flurry of new polls shows Mitt Romney eliminating a likeability gap with President Obama, but the incumbent rebuilding an advantage with female voters. LINK 

OTHER
ABC News’ Russell Goldman: “Donald ‘Bombshell’ Fails to Blow Up” Donald Trump today pledged $5 million to a charity of President Obama’s choice, provided the president makes public his college applications and transcripts and releases his passport history, a far cry from the October-surprise bombshell Trump had promised. Calling the offer a “major announcement,” Trump released a video via Twitter at noon to much ballyhoo, and his online followers grew by the hundreds in the moments before the video was released. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Monica Langley: “For Clinton as Top Diplomat, Tumultuous Closing Chapter” Just weeks ago, Hillary Clinton was poised to glide out of office as secretary of state with job-approval ratings near 70% and a political buzz suggesting she is already the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate to beat. Then, disaster struck at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. LINK

Boston Globe’s Glen Johnson: “Winner of popular vote may be denied presidency” The exceptionally close race between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney has once again raised the possibility of a candidate winning the popular vote but losing the White House by falling short in electoral votes. In most recent scenarios, Romney is projected as the victim in this odd quirk of the US voting system. LINK

ABC VIDEOS
Mitt Romney Distances Himself From Richard Mourdock’s Rape CommentsLINK
Donald Trump Offers $5 Million for Obama RecordsLINK
Richard Mourdock: ‘I Abhor Rape’LINK

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