The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, November 24, 2011

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates Jacqueline Fernandez, AmandaVanAllen and Desk Assistant Erin McLaughlin 

NEWT GINGRICH The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny and Trip Gabriel: “ Gingrich’s Words on Immigration Become a Target” An intense debate over immigration  flared among the Republican presidential candidates on Wednesday as Mitt Romney declared that Newt Gingrich “offered a new doorway to amnesty” when he called for a “humane” immigration policy to avoid deportation for people who are deeply rooted in their churches and communities. LINK

The Washington Posts’ Philip Rucker: “ Newt Gingrich may face backlash in Iowa over immigration comments” Having just taken his place at the front of the Republican presidential pack, Newt Gingrich now faces a potential backlash from conservative activists here in Iowa over an immigration proposal that he called “humane” but that his opponents quickly decried as providing “amnesty.” The former House speaker appears to have alienated some of the conservatives who had warmed to his candidacy by saying Tuesday in a candidates debate that he would allow millions of illegal immigrants who have settled in the United States to become legal residents. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’  Mark Z. Barabak and Robin Abcarian: “Newt Gingrich a wild card in shuffling deck of Republican Candidates” Of all the presidential candidates who have cycled to the top of the shifting Republican heap, the most improbable may be Newt Gingrich. Since leading the GOP”s 1994 takeover of the House, Gingrich has weathered a series of flip-flops, inflammatory statements and assorted missteps that would have sunk many lesser politicians. Gingrich’s run is “going to end with Newt and a can of gasoline and a Bic lighter,” predicted Paul Begala, who first sparred with the former House speaker as an advisor to President Clinton. “That’s the way things always end.” LINK

Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere: “ Is Newt Gingrich as smart as he thinks?” Newt Gingrich is always on message about one thing: He’s not just smart, he’s a deep-thinking intellectual with the big ideas to set the country right. Leading conservative intellectuals who spend their days discussing big ideas aren’t as convinced. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Naftali Bendavid: “ Gingrich Takes Risk With Immigration Stance” In openly embracing a more relaxed approach to immigration than many conservative activists, Newt Gingrich on Tuesday night stepped directly into one of the fiercest debates within the Republican Party. The former House speaker, during the GOP presidential debate, tied his position to everything from law-and-order to family values to religion.   LINK

MITT ROMNEY ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe: “Iowa Social Conservatives Group around a non-Romney candidate” Iowa social conservatives originally came together on Monday to pray and to  try to choose one candidate to support in  the Jan. 3 caucuses. But the meeting turned into a  discussion about getting behind one candidate with the goal of preventing Mitt Romney from winning the caucuses and going on to win the GOP nomination. LINK

ABC News’ Emily Friedman: “Romney, on 4 th trip to Iowa, emphasizes importance of Iowans’ vote” Mitt Romney, often criticized for not taking Iowa seriously, took time today to remind Iowa voters of the importance of January’s vote. “It would be great if everyone in this corporation would say, ‘I’m going to take some time out and go to the caucuses and go to the school, or wherever it is going to be held, and get in there and vote for a person of my choice,’” said Romney, speaking to a crowd of employees at Nationwide Insurance. This was Romney’s fourth trip to the Hawkeye State. Just last week, Romney was criticized by Iowa’s Republican Gov. Terry Branstad for not spending enough time in the state. LINK

The Washington Times’ Seth McLaughlin: “ Immigration a tough GOP sticking point“  Twice this year, Mitt Romney has turned to illegal immigration to try to blunt the rise of opponents in the Republican presidential field, including most recently on Tuesday, when he accused Newt Gingrich of supporting “amnesty.” The former Massachusetts governor’s go-to move strikes to the heart of GOP orthodoxy when it comes to illegal immigration, with Mr. Romney positioning himself as the rule-of-law, attrition-through-enforcement candidate, while Mr. Gingrich is embracing some sort of citizenship for illegals with deep family roots in the U.S. LINK

The Hill’s Justin Sink: “Dem strategist: Romney ad plays race card, echoes Rev. Wright” Democratic strategist Tad Devine, an adviser to the Al Gore and John Kerry presidential campaigns, accused Mitt Romney’s campaign of invoking the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright in a recent ad. Devine said Wednesday that he was “shocked” to see what he believed was imagery of an African-American church in an ad released Tuesday by Romney’s campaign team and airing in New Hampshire. The ad, Romney’s first of the campaign, is “clearly an attempt to bring back Rev. Wright and race,” Devine tweeted. LINK

OTHER The Hill’s Josh Lederman: “Muslim group denounces Santorum for promoting religious profiling” A national Muslim group is calling out Rick Santorum for supporting religious profiling against Muslims, and appealed Wednesday to the Republican Party to rebuke Santorum for his views. In a national security debate Tuesday, the former Pennsylvania senator and GOP presidential candidate said he would support profiling Muslims at airport checkpoints as a tactic to protect against terrorist attacks. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO “Newt Gingrich Under Fire” LINK “Obama Campaign Rolls Out Merchandise” LINK

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