The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, October 20, 2011

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates Jacqueline Fernandez, Jayce Henderson and Desk Assistant Amanda VanAllen

REPUBLICANS: ABC News’ Emily Friedman: “ Romney Delivers Patriotic Speech in South Dakota, Recounts Derek Parra Friendship” For the first time this campaign cycle, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney this evening evoked one of his favorite stories, about Olympic speed skater Derek Parra’s patriotism, during a keynote speech at the annual meeting of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. LINK

Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere: “ GOP dilemma: How to handle Herman Cain” Among the lessons of Tuesday’s GOP debate: Herman Cain’s rivals don’t know how to handle him. They piled on from the start of the CNN forum in Las Vegas, pulling apart the “9-9-9? plan that’s led to his surge in the polls.  LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s John D. McKinnon: “ Perry Takes Up Flat-Tax Banner” Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s economic plan will include a flat-tax proposal, a bid to establish himself as the leading conservative candidate on what has become a defining issue in the campaign. LINK

The Washington Post’s Paul Kane: “ Rick Perry, Ron Paul have mixed record on energy subsidies” Two Republican presidential candidates who have spoken out against federal subsidies for energy projects tried to obtain such benefits three years ago. LINK

USA Today’s Jackie Kucinich: “ Republican rivals’ stabs at ‘Romneycare’ gaining traction” After months of trying, Republican presidential contenders managed to draw blood from former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney during Tuesday night’s debate, and campaign observers said Wednesday that voters should expect more such attacks. LINK

Los Angeles Times’ Seema Mehta: “ Iowa presidential campaign shifts to state’s rural northwest” Reporting from Denison, Iowa—Eric Skoog has seen it all. The owner of the historic Cronk’s Cafe has greeted presidents as they walked through his restaurant’s doors, chatted with former Sen. Bob Dole about their fraternity’s secret handshake, and kept a detailed log of every political candidate to visit the eatery over the last three decades. LINK

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The Hill’s Alexander Bolton: “ Biden: GOP protects the rich at expense of teachers, responders” Vice President Biden ripped Republicans Wednesday during a Democratic rally on Capitol Hill, claiming the GOP puts millionaires before teachers and first responders.  LINK

IMMIGRATION: The New York Times’ Trip Gabriel: “ Comments on Immigration Alienate Some Hispanics” Today, Republican candidates are competing over who can talk the toughest about illegal immigration — who will erect the most impenetrable border defense; who will turn off “magnets” like college tuition benefits. LINK

OTHER: The Washington Times’ Paige Winfield Cunningham: “ Social Security benefits to increase in 2012” Seniors will receive a 3.6 percent Social Security cost-of-living increase next year, the first since 2009, signaling that consumer prices are rebounding even as the economy remains sluggish and unemployment is high. LINK

The Boston Globe’s Mark Arsenault:” Out-of-state donations filling Warren’s campaign coffers“  Democratic leaders in the US Senate are speaking with their money in the Massachusetts primary, stating clearly that they prefer consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren to be the party’s candidate against Republican Senator Scott Brown next year. The Senate’s top two Democrats, Senate majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada and majority whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, have each donated $5,000 to Warren’s campaign through the leadership political action committees the senators control, according to campaign filings.  LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:Mitt Romney, Rick Perry Touchy in GOP DebateLINKRick Perry Details Economic Growth PackageLINK

BOOKMARKS: The Note:  LINK The Must-Reads Online:  LINK Top Line Webcast (12noon EST M-F):  LINK ABC News Politics:  LINK The Political Punch (Jake Tapper):  LINK George’s Bottom Line (George Stephanopoulos):  LINK Follow ABC News on Twitter:  LINK ABC News Mobile:  LINK ABC News app on your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad:  LINK