The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday October 4, 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


ABC News' Russell Goldman: " Romney Comes Out Swinging" Mitt Romney came out swinging in the first presidential debate, challenging President Obama over his health care reforms, treatment of the economy, taxes and funding for Sesame Street's Big Bird. Romney jabbed the president, calling his approach "trickle-down government" and accusing him of spending his time in office concentrating on passing his health care plan at the expense of creating jobs. LINK

Bloomberg's Michael Shepard and Kristin Jensen: " Romney Won First Debate, 67 Percent of Voters Tell CNN" Republican Mitt Romney won tonight's first presidential debate with President Barack Obama, according to a CNN/ORC International poll of registered voters who watched the nationally televised event. Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said Romney fared better, compared with 25 percent for Obama, according to results aired on CNN after the match concluded. Forty-six percent said they found Romney more likeable, compared with 45 percent for Obama, CNN reported. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Doyle McManus: " Presidential debate: A lackluster Obama, a revived Romney" It always comes as a surprise, but incumbent presidents tend not to do very well in formal campaign debates. Gerald Ford stumbled against Jimmy Carter in 1976, Carter was pummeled by Ronald Reagan in 1980, Reagan fumbled in his first try in 1984, and so on. LINK

The Boston Globe's Glen Johnson: " Romney pledged to take fight to Obama, and he delivered" Throughout his second bid for the presidency, Mitt Romney has said repeatedly he could not wait for the chance to stand on a debate stage with Barack Obama and not only hold him accountable for his record during the past four years, but outline his plans for the future. He proved Wednesday night it was no idle boast. The Republican delivered a relentless attack on the Democratic incumbent's first term and said his results should disqualify him from a second. LINK


USA Today's William M. Welch: " Obama, Romney battle over economic visions" President Obama and Mitt Romney exchanged charges over tax and economic policies in their first presidential debate Wednesday, with the Republican challenger promising lower tax rates and cuts in government workers while the president said Romney's numbers don't add up. Romney accused Obama of misrepresenting his tax plan, which Romney insisted would not produce higher tax bills for middle-income families and charged the president had failed to deliver on his promise to reduce the federal deficit. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Carol E. Lee and Sara Murray: " Candidates Spar Over Taxes" Cutting to the heart of their differences, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney laid out contrasting visions for the federal government in their first debate in Denver, sparring over tax-cut proposals, regulations and deficit-reduction plans. Both candidates sought Wednesday to present themselves as champions of the middle class and cast the Nov. 6 election as a choice between two paths toward a more-secure economic future. LINK

The Washington Times' Dave Boyer and Stephen Dinan: " Romney attacks Obama's 'trickle down government' in first debate" Claiming he's the true champion of a middle class that's being "crushed" under President Obama, Mitt Romney went straight at the president Wednesday in the first debate of the campaign, saying his four years in office have doubled the deficit and left the economy gasping. Mr. Obama countered that Mr. Romney is hiding key parts of his plans from voters, but said from what he's seen, the Republican nominee would take government back to Bush administration policies that led to the 2008 recession. LINK


" Presidential Debate 2012 Recap" LINK

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