The Note’s Must-Reads for Friday, December 2, 2011

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 Digital News Associates Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen and Alicia Tejada

MITT ROMNEY: The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny: “ G.O.P. Leaders Still Seem Torn About Romney” Republican leaders remain bullish about their party’s chances of winning the White House, but after spending much of this year unsuccessfully trying to recruit new candidates, they are coming to the conclusion that their eventual nominee will carry substantial flaws into the general election. LINK

The Washington Times’ Seth McLaughlin: “ Romney uses new ad, adrenaline to woo Iowa” After spending most of the presidential primary tamping down expectations in Iowa, Mitt Romney is cranking up his campaign efforts in the Hawkeye State, including running his first ad Thursday, almost exactly a month before Republican voters hold their first-in-the-nation caucuses. LINK

Boston Globe’s Michael Kranish: “ Gingrich’s surge gives Romney camp pause: Ignoring his rivals could be hurting” Mitt Romney’s campaign strategy of focusing on President Obama, largely ignoring the Republican competition, and appearing mostly on venues such as Fox News Channel has gone awry this week, threatening to derail his carefully plotted path to the GOP nomination, analysts said yesterday. LINK

NEWT GINGRICH: ABC News’ Jake Tapper: “ Gingrich Tells ABC News: ‘I’m Going to Be The Nominee’” A very confident New Gingrich asserted to ABC News Thursday afternoon that he will be the Republican presidential nominee. “I’m going to be the nominee,” the former Speaker told ABC News. “It’s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I’m going to be the nominee.” LINK

The Hills’ Jonathan Easley: “ Gingrich: Poor kids have bad work habits ‘unless it’s illegal’” GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Thursday that “really poor children” have bad work habits and no knowledge of how to make an income “unless it’s illegal.” Doubling down on his argument that children in poor neighborhoods should be employed as janitors in schools, Gingrich argued that the best way to teach children in poor neighborhoods good working habits is to put them to work as soon as possible.  LINK

USA Today’s Jackie Kucinich: “ No backlash for Gingrich policy shifts” Former House speaker Newt Ginhas criticized former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for inconsistent comments on conservative issues, although Gingrich’s record shows that he, too, has been inconsistent on many of the same issues. As Gingrich has risen in the polls from an also-ran to a top contender, his contradictory positions on several issues have come under increased scrutiny. LINK

The New York Daily News’ Mike Lupica: “ What’s old is Newt again: It’s Gingrich’s turn to be the latest GOP king of the hill” Newt Gingrich reluctantly leaves some of the slower-thinking states now to come to New York, starting with a Tea Party-sponsored event Saturday night at Staten Island’s Hilton Garden Inn. Gingrich will be in the Trevi Garden room of the Hilton, part of Nicotra’s Ballroom there, and that will be a pretty good place for him to feel at home, considering his colorful — and extremely busy — romantic past. LINK

The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold: “ Newt Gingrich as president could turn the White House into an idea factory” This is America under President Gingrich: There are two Social Security systems — one old, one new, running side by side. There are two tax systems and two versions of Medicare. Immigration decisions are handled by citizen councils spread across the country. LINK

HERMAN CAIN: Bloomberg’s Lisa Lerer and Julie Hirschfeld Davis: “ Cain Tells Newspaper in New Hampshire Ending His Campaign Is ‘an Option’” Herman Cain told a New Hampshire newspaper that ending his Republican presidential campaign is “an option” he is considering, as he continued to face questions about the latest allegation of sexual indiscretion lodged against him. LINK

Politico’s Reid J. Epstein: “ Scandal vets to Herman Cain: Time to go“  Herman Cain and his advisers may be reassessing his prospects, but politicians and consultants who’ve weathered their own campaign scandals agree his campaign will have to end soon — the only question left is how. LINK

RICK PERRY: The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King Jr. and Danny Yadron: “ In Perry Country, Romney’s Raiders” Dallas real-estate magnate Harlan Crow has given $130,000 in the past decade to help Texas Gov. Rick Perry win his elections. But Mr. Crow opened the doors to his Dallas mansion for one of three large fund-raisers in Texas Thursday for Mr. Perry’s archrival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:Gingrich: ‘I’m Going to Be the Nominee’LINKNewt Gingrich Clarifies Child Labor CommentsLINK

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