The Note's Must-Reads for Monday May 21, 2012

Compiled by ABC News' Carrie Halperin and Amanda VanAllen

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


ABC News' Dylan Stableford: " Cory Booker slams Obama campaign ad attacking Romney's Bain Capital record" Newark Mayor Cory Booker slammed the Obama campaign's ad criticizing Mitt Romney's record as the head of Bain Capital, and called for an end to"nauseating" attacks from both sides."I have to just say from a very personal level, I'm not about to sit here and indict private equity," Booker, a Democrat, said in an appearance on NBC's "Meet The Press" on Sunday. LINK

The New York Times' Raymond Hernandez: " Surrogate for Obama Denounces Anti-Romney Ad" Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark, a prominent Democrat enlisted as a surrogate for President Obama's campaign, sharply criticized it on Sunday for attacking Mitt Romney's work at the private equity firm Bain Capital. Mr. Booker, speaking on the NBC program "Meet the Press," made his comments in response to a television advertisement the president's campaign unveiled last week. LINK


The Hill's Meghashyam Mali: " Obama: Afghans will see 'transformational decade of peace'" President Obama declared Sunday that the Afghan war "as we understood it is over" and that the country was on track to achieve a "transformational decade" of peace. LINK


The Washington Times' Seth McLaughlin: " Obama, Romney use states' rights as they see fit" The 10th Amendment, the amendment supposedly reserving for the states all powers not explicitly granted to the federal government, gets a lot of rhetorical love on the campaign trail. But on issues from medical marijuana to voter-identification laws to malpractice reform, both President Obama and presumptive GOP challenger Mitt Romney have shown few qualms about trampling all over the 10th Amendment. LINK


The Washington Post's Rachel Weiner: " Obama raising money off proposed Jeremiah Wright attack" How worried is President Obama about a Jeremiah Wright attack? Here's a clue. While former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is staying far away from a strategist's proposal to use the controversial pastor as a cudgel, Obama's campaign is raising money off the prospect. LINK

Bloomberg's Jonathan D. Salant and Greg Giroux: " Romney Raises $11.7 Million in April, Half Obama's Haul" Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney raised $11.7 million in April, less than half as much as President Barack Obama, Federal Election Commission reports show. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, has now raised $100.4 million for his campaign, also less than half as much as the Democratic incumbent. LINK

Politico's Dave Levinthal: " Mitt Romney camp fundraising stalled in April" Mitt Romney's presidential campaign fundraising dipped in April as it transitioned from beating back Republican primary challengers to fully engaging President Barack Obama in a general election campaign. Romney's campaign committee took in $11.72 million in April, new federal records show, down from the more than $13 million it raised in March and nearly $12 million of February. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Melanie Mason and Joseph Tanfani: " Romney starts to chip away at Obama's big fundraising lead" Effectively clinching the Republican presidential nomination last month allowed Mitt Romney's campaign to marshal larger checks and chip into President Obama's huge lead in the money chase heading into the general election. Romney still has a long way to go. LINK

USA Today's Fredreka Schouten: " Mitt Romney raised $11.7 million in April" Republican Mitt Romney's supporters pumped $11.7 million into his presidential campaign in April, a drop of about $1 million from his fundraising the previous month and less than half President Obama's haul in April, new campaign-finance reports show. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Danny Yadron: " Obama Campaign Spending About Half of Total Raised" President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is spending about half of what it raises to support a large political infrastructure that includes hundreds of workers and dozens of offices around the country. For now, it gives him at least one leg up on Mitt Romney, his presumptive Republican opponent, who still has far less money to spend despite making recent fundraising gains, according to federal filings released Sunday. LINK


The Note:  LINK The Must-Reads Online:  LINK Top Line Webcast (12noon EST M-F):  LINK ABC News Politics:  LINK The Political Punch (Jake Tapper):  LINK George's Bottom Line (George Stephanopoulos):  LINK Follow ABC News on Twitter:  LINK ABC News Mobile:  LINK