The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday September 13, 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' Carrie Halperin, Jayce Henderson, and Amanda VanAllen


ABC News' Jake Tapper: " The Politics (Ugh, Yes, the Politics) of the Attacks on the US Diplomatic Posts in Benghazi and Cairo" Families are in mourning, and the diplomatic corps is dealing with the tragedy of four Americans being killed in the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. But with 55 days until the election, everything becomes grist for the political mill, and the violence against the U.S. missions in Libya and Cairo, Egypt is no exception. President Obama will face questions about the Arab Spring; some in the foreign policy community, believing stability in the Middle East a more vital interest than freedom for its citizens, have questioned the Obama administration's support for the "Arab Spring." Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was a brutal dictator, but he was a U.S. ally. LINK

ABC News' Gregory Kreig and Emily Friedman: " Obama Says Romney 'Shoots First and Aims Later' in Embassy Attack Comments" President Obama said today that criticism of his handling of the assaults on American embassies in Libya and Egypt was off the mark, suggesting that Mitt Romney has "a tendency to shoot first and aim later" with his political attacks. Romney had charged earlier today that the Obama administration's response to the attacks in which four Americans died was "disgraceful" and amounted to apologizing to the militants. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler and Carol E. Lee: " Obama, Romney Spar Over Attacks" The attacks on American diplomatic missions sparked a harsh debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on Wednesday, with Mr. Romney using the episode to escalate his argument that the president is an overeager apologist and Mr. Obama to charge that his Republican foe "seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later." LINK

The New York Times' Peter Baker and Ashley Parker: " A Challenger's Criticism Is Furiously Returned" The deadly attack on an American diplomatic post in Libya propelled foreign policy to the forefront of an otherwise inward-looking presidential campaign and presented an unexpected test not only to the incumbent, who must manage an international crisis, but also to the challenger, whose response quickly came under fire. While President Obama dealt with the killings of an ambassador and three other Americans and deflected questions about his handling of the Arab world, Mitt Romney, the Republican seeking his job, wasted little time going on the attack, accusing the president of apologizing for American values and appeasing Islamic extremists. LINK


The Washington Post's Philip Rucker: " Romney repeats sharp criticism of Obama after Benghazi, Cairo attacks" Crises overseas tend to create moments of joint resolve back home, a time to pause from the daily bickering of partisan politics. But as news was streaming in about attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya, Mitt Romney broke from that protocol. LINK

Politico's Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns: " Mitt Romney's foreign policy test" Mitt Romney's criticism of President Barack Obama over the U.S. embassy attacks in North Africa has spiraled into a debate over the GOP nominee's incendiary remarks on the subject. Democrats accused Romney of looking unserious, responding to a news cycle, and even some Republicans agreed, acknowledging the moment is a potentially pivotal test for a candidate who has not made foreign policy or national security central tenets of his candidacy. LINK

Bloomberg's Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Phil Mattingly: " Romney Criticized for Handling of Libya Protests, Death" The attacks that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya became a flashpoint in the American presidential race, as Republican nominee Mitt Romney drew criticism from Democrats and Republicans for chastising President Barack Obama and his administration on their response. The Republican presidential nominee told reporters at a Jacksonville, Florida, news conference today that Obama's administration set a "terrible course" when the U.S. embassy in Cairo issued a statement Romney called "akin to apology" to Egyptian protesters before the death of U.S. envoy to Libya J. Christopher Stevens. LINK


The Hill's Amie Parnes: " Obama mocks Romney, GOP on tax policy" President Obama jabbed at his Mitt Romney's tax policies on Wednesday night, saying his opponent believes that tax cuts tilted toward the wealthy will ensure that "everything will be okay." Speaking to a crowd of 8,000 at a Las Vegas exhibition center, Obama took a break from dealing with foreign policy issues that consumed his day and resumed an assault on his opponents' tax policy - and with humor. LINK

The Los Angeles Times Paul West: " Bill Clinton focuses on economy, ignores Libya" Focused like a laser beam on making an economic case for President Obama's reelection, Bill Clinton wrapped up a two-day Florida campaign swing Wednesday by reprising applause lines from his recent national convention speech. LINK


" Mitt Romney Takes Heat for Libya Comments" LINK " President Obama on Killing of U.S. Ambassador in Libya" LINK " Mitt Romney on Egypt: White House Gave 'Mixed Signals'" LINK


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