The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday, January 12, 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 Digital News Associates Jayce Henderson, Jacqueline Fernandez and Amanda VanAllen

PRESIDENT OBAMA: ABC News' Devin Dwyer and Mary Bruce: " Obama Visits Chciago Campaign Headquarters, Then He's Off to Raise Cash" President Obama made a surprise visit to his re-election headquarters in Chicago this afternoon before an evening of fundraisers expected to net at least $1.8 million for Democrats and his campaign. LINK

SOUTH CAROLINA: The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny: " Republican Rivals Batter Romney in South Carolina" For the Republican presidential candidates who want to stop Mitt Romney in South Carolina, it comes down to this: How far are they willing to go? LINK

USA Today's Susan Page: " GOP rivals trade barbs as the focus turns to S.C. primary" Republican front-runner Mitt Romney warned rivals Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry on Wednesday that their attacks on his business record "fell flat" in the New Hampshire primary, a contest the former Massachusetts governor won handily, but both competitors vowed to intensify the onslaught in the South Carolina campaign ahead. LINK

MITT ROMNEY: ABC News' Emily Friedman: " Mitt Romney Says South Carolina Primary Will Be 'Uphill Battle'" Fresh off his primary night win in Manchester, N.H., Mitt Romney told press aboard a flight to South Carolina that he knows a win in the Palmetto State will be "an uphill battle." LINK

The Washington Post's Jia Lynn Yang: " Mitt Romney, Bain Capital and the gospel of 'creative destruction'" Mitt Romney's rivals this week intensified their attacks over business failures that happened on his watch at the investment firm Bain Capital. But even the successes touted by Romney's campaign involved some painful decisions and layoffs. LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan: " Romney's push against amnesty makes immigration a defining issue" Mitt Romney collected the endorsements Wednesday of the architect of Arizona's immigration-crackdown law, marking the final step on a journey that has taken him from lukewarm support of legalization to the Republican presidential field's most ardent opponent of amnesty. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Michael Finnegan, John Hoeffel and Alana Semuels: " Romney can see the finish line from South Carolina" Reporting from Rock Hill, Columbia and Ridgeway,- A day after Mitt Romney's lopsided New Hampshire victory, the Republican presidential race shifted to South Carolina, where his rivals face possibly their last shot at stopping him from sealing the nomination. LINK

The Hill's Justin Sink: " GOP frets Gingrich's attacks will damage Romney in November" Criticism of Mitt Romney's years in private investment is being hit by a fierce backlash from Republicans worried the attacks could damage their probable candidate in the general-election battle against President Obama. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Neil King Jr., Brody Mullins, and Danny Yadron: " Romney Lashes Back on Bain" Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney tried to slam the door Wednesday on criticism of his business record at Bain Capital, arguing his sweeping victory in New Hampshire repudiated that line of attack. LINK

Politico's Reid J. Epstein:  " Mitt Romney readies Bain Capital counterattack" Mitt Romney's done defending his Bain Capital record. He's going on offense. The former Massachusetts governor arrived here Wednesday fresh off his New Hampshire primary win armed with a new plan for a multi-pronged response to the Republican rivals who've been bashing his private equity past. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS: " Romney Preps for South Carolina Primary" LINK " Gingrich Ad Revives Romney's Dog Debacle" LINK " Romney: Job Record 'A Lot Better' than Obama's" LINK

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