The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday, January 24, 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 and Desk Assistant Carrie Helperin.

MITT ROMNEY ABC News' Matt Negrin: " Mitt Romney Blasts Newt Gingrich as 'Influence Peddlar'" Mitt Romney tonight accused Newt Gingrich of "influence peddling" during his time as a consultant for Freddie Mac, a sharp attack from the one-time front-runner that reflected the close race for the Republican nomination. The showdown between Romney and Gingrich on center stage at the latest Republican presidential debate, eclipsing the two other candidates, wore on for so long that at one point, the debate's moderator had to cut them off to take a commercial break. LINK

ABC News' Amy Walter: " Florida's Ad War Shows Mitt Romney And Allies Pummeling Newt Gingrich" While Newt Gingrich boasts of a big post-South Carolina fundraising haul, his campaign is getting outspent by more than a 10-1 margin on the Florida airwaves. According to a source with knowledge of Florida TV advertising purchases, the Romney campaign and the pro-Romney SuperPAC "Restore Our Future" have purchased a combined $6.8M worth of TV time in the state, while the Gingrich campaign and the pro-Gingrich SuperPAC "Winning Our Future" have purchased a combined $501,000 of TV ad time. LINK

The New York Times' Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg: " Romney Unleashes Attack With Gingrich Sole Target" Mitt Romney leveled a searing attack against Newt Gingrich's character and raised pointed questions about his ability to lead during a debate here Monday evening, taking urgent steps to slow Mr. Gingrich's rising momentum in the fight for the Republican presidential nomination. LINK

The Washington Post's Lori Montgomery: " Mitt Romney's tax returns shed some light on his investment wealth" Mitt Romney offered a partial snapshot of his vast personal fortune late Monday, disclosing income of $21.7 million in 2010 and $20.9 million last year - virtually all of it profits, dividends or interest from investments. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Sara Murray, Danny Yadron and Neil King Jr.: " Romney on the Attack" Mitt Romney sought to regain traction in the Republican presidential race Monday by linking his surging rival, Newt Gingrich, to Florida's ongoing housing crisis and trying to paint the former House speaker as too "erratic" for the party to gamble on as its 2012 nominee. Mr. Romney also said during a televised debate that his top rival "had to resign in disgrace" from the job of House speaker and later worked "as an influence peddler in Washington." LINK

The New York Daily News' David Boroff and Roqur Planas: " Mitt Romney says he favors 'self-deportation' when asked about immigration during GOP debate" Mitt Romney has a message for undocumented immigrants: Deport thyself. During Monday night's GOP presidential debate in Tampa, Fla., Romney was asked how he would address illegal immigration, and said he favored what he called "self-deportation." LINK

The Los Angeles Times: " Mitt Romney paid $3 million in federal taxes in 2010? Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney reportedly paid about $3 million in federal income taxes in 2010 on income of $21.7 million. Romney's tax returns show most of his income came from investments. He also gave nearly $3 million combined to charitable causes and the Mormon Church, helping reduce his effective tax rate to less than 14%. LINK


USA Today's Catalina Camia: " Gingrich's Freddie Mac records released" Newt Gingrich's former consulting firm released a contract for work done on behalf of Freddie Mac, showing it was paid $25,000 a month in 2006 to provide "consulting and related services." The Freddie Mac records were released tonight by the Gingrich Group, ahead of a GOP presidential debate in which it is likely to be a hot topic. LINK

The Hills' Josh Lederman: " Romney and Gingrich tussle in scrappy Republican debate" Mitt Romney unleashed his harshest attacks to date on Newt Gingrich Monday in an antagonistic debate in Florida. He chipped away at the former House Speaker's record from every direction as he worked to fend off the rival who has unexpectedly put Romney's hold on the Republican presidential nomination in jeopardy. LINK

OTHER: Politico's Maggie Haberman: " The Florida Republican debate: 6 Takeaways" Mark it as 18 debates in the books. The four remaining GOP hopefuls gathered for a nearly two-hour, often sleepy debate in Tampa, Fla., in which Mitt Romney sought to slow down Newt Gingrich's momentum, and the former House Speaker tried on a new role - front-runner. LINK

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