The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, February 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' Jayce Henderson, Jacqueline Fernandez, Amanda VanAllen, and Carrie Halperin

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The Boston Globe's Matt Viser: " Obama seeks to upstage GOP in Mich." This state may be the focal point for the Republican primary candidates over the next five days, but there are also stealth factors at play: President Obama and his supporters are already laying the groundwork here for the general election, trying to frame it as a choice between the savior of the auto industry and Republican opponents who would have let it shrink. LINK

MITT ROMNEY: ABC News' Russell Goldman: " Romney Gets His Groove Back in Michigan?" Seemingly riding the positive vibes off last night's strong debate performance, Mitt Romney returned to Michigan energized, connecting with voters here on an atypically emotional level. LINK

The Washington Post's Dan Balz: " What happens if Mitt Romney wins Michigan?" For the past week, much of the focus of the Republican presidential race has centered on the consequences Mitt Romney will face if he loses Michigan's primary. After a debate in Arizona on Wednesday, the question should be: What will happen if he wins his home state? LINK

The New York Daily News' Luke Rosiak: " Former Romney aide's company paid $2 million by super PAC" The pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future has spent $25 million in donated funds on ads excoriating Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, but with the exception of two advertising firms, the biggest recipient of its money has been a top Romney aide who left the presidential campaign to oversee the super PAC's finances. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Sara Murray: " Romney Taps Bush Hands to Shape Economic Policies" Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is tapping experts in the moderate camp of GOP economics to help him craft a meatier campaign message. No 9-9-9 plans from this crowd. No flat tax or dramatic restructuring of Medicare or Social Security. Mr. Romney and his team, a circle with extensive academic and Washington experience, have steered clear of the bolder options offered by his rivals for the Republican nomination. LINK

RICK SANTORUM: The New York Times' Michael Shear: " Santorum's Record Is Used Against Him" Rick Santorum's 16-year career in Congress serves as the backbone of his political resume and has shaped his call for unbending conservative principles, a message he proudly delivers on the stump, in commercials and during debates. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Richard Simon and Colby Itkowitz: " The two sides of Rick Santorum" A U.S. senator for barely three months, Rick Santorum, then just 36, sought to strip 72-year-old Republican Mark O. Hatfield of a committee chairmanship for voting against a balanced-budget constitutional amendment. The longtime Oregon senator kept the gavel, but Santorum put his colleagues on notice in 1995 that he would bring a brash, more partisan style to the genteel chamber to advance conservative causes. LINK

Bloomberg's Julie Bykowicz: " Santorum's Millionaire Backer Stays Mum on Motivations" Louisiana energy executive William Doré wrote a $1 million check last month to help Rick Santorum win the U.S. Republican presidential election - a contribution that came out of the blue, according to the former Pennsylvania senator's other major donor. LINK

Politico's Glenn Thrush and Carrie Budoff Brown: " Democrats: Is Rick Santorum for real?" Last week, the Obama campaign made what seemed, on its surface, like a startling announcement: They were steering some of their opposition researchers, who had been mostly trained on Mitt Romney, to a rocketing Rick Santorum. LINK

RICK PERRY: ABC News' Arlette Saenz: " Rick Perry To Have Surgery Friday To Repair Clavicle" Texas Governor Rick Perry will have surgery tomorrow to repair his right clavicle, which did not heal after a 2009 bicycle accident, Catherine Frazier, Perry's press secretary, confirmed to ABC News. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS: " Romney Mocks Santorum's 'Taking One for the Team'" LINK " Ron Paul Ad's Call Santorum a 'Fake'" LINK

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