The Note’s Must-Reads for Friday, November 18, 2011

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

NEWT GINGRICH ABC News’ Russell Goldman: “ Newt Gingrich Dodges Questions on Freddie Mac Link in Florida” Alluding to the scandal embroiling his ascendant campaign, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told a crowd in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday that he would “cheerfully answer every single question” reporters had. Following the event, however, he refused to answer any questions about the work he did for mortgage giant Freddie Mac. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Brody Mullins: “ Chamber of Commerce Paid Gingrich as a Consultant Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has tapped into an anti-Washington vein in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, was paid to counsel the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after he left Congress. The Chamber, the largest lobbying organization in Washington, paid Mr. Gingrich about $840,000, according to people familiar with the arrangement, or about $120,000 a year for seven years beginning in 2001, to serve on an informal board of advisers to its president and senior staff.   LINK

The Washington Post’s Dan Eggen: “ Gingrich think tank collected millions from health-care industry” A think tank founded by GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich collected at least $37 million over the past eight years from major health-care companies and industry groups, offering special access to the former House speaker and other perks, according to records and interviews. LINK

The Washington Times’ Ralph Hallow: “ Gingrich sees himself as man of substance” Newt Gingrich, now leading by double digits in Iowa and California and in a statistical tie with Mitt Romney for first place in two national polls, ascribes his rise to the top of the Republican presidential nomination heap to substance: a candidate consistently demonstrating depth and breadth of knowledge on domestic and foreign issues. LINK

MITT ROMNEY The Hills’ Alicia M. Cohn: “ DNC wants to see Mitt Romney’s emails”  The Democratic National Committee has filed a freedom of information (FOIA) request with the office of the governor of Massachusetts in an effort to uncover whether staff destroyed information before Mitt Romney left office.  The request, obtained by The Hill, is for copies of any email communication between then governor-Romney’s staffers relating to their purchase of work computers, or for “permission to destroy, take personal possession of, or remove from official premises, records, including a description of such records.” LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Paul West and Seema Mehta: “ Tea party activists remain wary of Romney” Throughout the roller-coaster Republican presidential contest, one thing hasn’t changed: the stubborn refusal of many tea party supporters to warm up to Mitt Romney. The swift rise and abrupt fall of a succession of GOP candidates has been driven in part by the restless search for a Romney alternative by that group of voters, who energized the GOP’s big turnaround in 2010. LINK

HERMAN CAIN The New York Daily News’ Joseph Straw: “ Herman Cain to get Secret Service protection” Herman Cain will get a Secret Service detail after a local Florida cop clotheslined a reporter covering his campaign. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, whose agency includes the Secret Service, approved the move “at the request of the Cain Campaign and in consultation with the Congressional advisory committee,” a panel of lawmakers that consults on protection for candidates, Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie said. LINK

Politico’s Maggie Haberman: “ Cain heads to Letterman’s set” Herman Cain headed to New York today for an early-evening taping with David Letterman, for an episode of his late-night show that will air tomorrow night. Letterman pressed Cain on the ’9-9-9' plan, saying, “You don’t even know what it means!”Here is the preview. LINK

TEA PARTY The New York Times’ Kate Zernike: “ A Test for the Tea Party in Texas Senate Race” The National Review cover proclaimed him “the great conservative hope.” George Will declared him “as good as it gets.” Influential conservatives endorsed him and gave him speaking slots alongside presidential candidates at national gatherings, where the crowds rewarded him with standing ovations. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOSHerman Cain Faces Questions About CubaLINKGingrich Is ‘a Chameleon’ Says Rep. McDermottLINK

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