The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday, April 18, 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, Amanda VanAllen, Carrie Halperin, and Alicia Tejada

PRESIDENT OBAMA: USA Today's David Jackson: " Obama hits campaign trail with 'Buffett rule'" The "Buffett rule" is dead in Congress, but remains very much alive on the campaign trail. President Obama says he will continue to push for the plan that would require millionaires to pay at least the same tax rate as middle class Americans, and blame Republicans for defeating it in the Senate. LINK

MITT ROMNEY: The New York Times' Richard Oppel Jr.: " Romney's Critique of War Policy Gets a Closer Look" Mitt Romney has made Afghanistan a showcase for his attacks on President Obama's foreign policy. He says Mr. Obama has undercut American interests by setting timetables for withdrawing troops, providing the Taliban - who displayed their resilience with attacks over the weekend - further reason to wait things out. LINK

Bloomberg's Lisa Lerer:  " Rosen to Romney Leaves Some Women Weary of Mom Debate"   Democrat Kadie Whalen, 32, is a stay-at-home mother raising three kids. Republican Evelyn Valleao, 44, works full-time yet says she wishes she was financially able to be home with her four children. And Rosie Kohn, a 60-year-old Republican skeptical of Mitt Romney, went back to work 10 years ago after raising five children.  LINK

Politico's Patrick Gavin:  " Romney rips media and 'left-wing conspiracy'"  Speaking to Larry O'Connor on Breitbart TV, Mitt Romney indicted the media for being part of a "vast left-wing conspiracy."  "There will be an effort by the quote vast left-wing conspiracy to work together to put out their message and to attack me," said Romney, according to CNN. "They're going to do everything they can to divert from the message people care about, which is a growing economy that creates more jobs and rising incomes. That's what people care about."  LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Seema Mehta: " Santorum mailer: Romney as GOP nominee 'frightens me'" A Rick Santorum fundraising mailer that hit Iowa households Monday - nearly a week after he dropped his presidential bid - is raising eyebrows because it harshly attacks the presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney. LINK

The Hill's  Russell Berman: " GOP leaders endorse Romney, seek unity behind likely nominee" House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell both endorsed Mitt Romney for president on Tuesday, but some conservative GOP lawmakers remained less than enthusiastic for the presumptive Republican nominee. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Patrick O'Connor and Janet Hook: " Romney Woos Conservative Leaders" Mitt Romney, while ramping up efforts to win swing voters who will play a large role in November's election, has remained personally involved in trying to persuade conservative leaders to back him and help drive Republican turnout this fall. The day after Mr. Romney effectively sealed the nomination with a win in the Wisconsin primary on April 3, he huddled with the heads of a dozen or so conservative organizations at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. LINK

VOTERS: The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty: " Latino voters take center stage in both presidential campaigns" With the GOP presidential nomination no longer in doubt, President Obama and Mitt Romney this week are urgently turning their focus to Hispanic voters - a group whose alienation from Republicans threatens GOP prospects for winning the White House and has given the Obama campaign an early opportunity to lock in the support of a key constituency. LINK

OTHER: ABC News' Amy Bingham: " Dog Lovers Blast Ann Romney For Supporting Mitt's 'Inhumane' Dog Treatment" Mitt Romeny's dog days aren't over. The Republican presidential contender remains in the doghouse as his campaign continues to be dogged by the old story of his family's Irish setter Seamus. Seeking to quell ongoing criticism over the presumptive GOP nominee's decision to make the family pooch ride in a dog kennel strapped to the roof of the family station wagon during a 12-hour trip, Ann Romney said Monday that "the dog loved it." LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: " Obama as a Boy Ate Dog Meat" Much has been made about Mitt Romney, in 1983, putting his family dog Seamus in a kennel on top of his roof and driving from Boston to Canada, with said canine Seamus making his displeasure known in a rather scatological way. Democrats have signaled they have every intention of making sure the American people - especially dog-lovers - know the tale. LINK

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