The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday, September 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, and Carrie Halperin

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The Washington Times' Dave Boyer: " Obama campaign wastes little time jumping on Romney 'victims' video" Democrats pounced Monday on a surreptitiously recorded video of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney appearing to denigrate President Obama's supporters as people "who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims.""There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Mr. Romney tells a small group of wealthy donors in the video, which was recorded at some point after he won the GOP primary. LINK

MITT ROMNEY: The Hill's Justin Sink: " Romney: 47 percent depend on government, will vote for Obama" Mitt Romney, in candid remarks at a fundraising dinner caught in an undercover video, said "47 percent" of Americans are "dependent upon government." Romney said these voters are with Obama and believe they are victims. He also said his job was not to worry about them and to instead focus on Independent voters who could swing the election. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Seema Mehta: " Romney defends 'off the cuff' remarks on Obama backers as victims" Mitt Romney, speaking to reporters Monday evening at a hastily called news conference meant to blunt the impact of a newly released video, said that he chose his critical words about Obama's supporters poorly but did not back down from their substance. "It's not elegantly stated, let me put it that way. I'm speaking off the cuff in response to a question and I'm sure I can state it more clearly and in a more effective way than I did in a setting like that," he said, before calling on the source of the video to release the full recording. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Sara Murray and Patrick O'Connor: " Romney Video Crowds Out Bid to Sharpen His Message" An effort by Mitt Romney to return public attention to his economic program was derailed Monday when a videotape surfaced in which the Republican presidential nominee describes many of his opponent's supporters in unflattering terms. The video, posted Monday on the website of Mother Jones, showed Mr. Romney speaking at what the liberal magazine said was a private fundraiser earlier this year. LINK

The Boston Globe's Matt Viser: " Romney says dependent 47% back Obama" Mitt Romney, during a private May fund-raiser captured on video, talked disparagingly about nearly half the electorate, saying they were "dependent on government" and could not be convinced to "take personal responsibility" for their lives. In blunt terms clearly not intended for public consumption, Romney said that 47 percent of the country's citizens see themselves as "victims" and will, without fail, vote for President Obama. LINK

USA Today's Catalina Camia: " Romney stands by message in secret video" Mitt Romney said tonight he stands by his message in a secretly taped video, in which he is heard saying that 47% of Americans will vote for President Obama because they are "victims" and "dependent upon government." In brief remarks to reporters, Romney said his comments were not "elegantly stated" and "spoken off the cuff" during a fundraiser months ago. LINK

Bloomberg's John McCormick: " Romney Doesn't Disavow Video Remark on American 'Victims'" Mitt Romney said his comment in a video released earlier today calling many Americans "victims" dependent on the government wasn't "elegantly stated," while stopping short of disavowing the remark. The Republican presidential candidate said tonight that his comments, secretly recorded at a campaign event earlier this year, were made while "speaking off the cuff in response to a question." LINK

The New York Times' Michael D. Shear and Michael Barbaro: " Romney Calls 47% of Voters Dependent in Leaked Video" During a private reception with wealthy donors this year, Mitt Romney described almost half of Americans as "people who pay no income tax" and are "dependent upon government." Those voters, he said, would probably support President Obama because they believe they are "victims" who are "entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it." LINK

The Washington Post's Philip Rucker: " Romney campaign faces distractions" Nine hundred of Mitt Romney's biggest benefactors - from Wall Street traders to hedge fund managers - gathered in a ballroom in Midtown Manhattan on Friday morning to send their candidate on the two-month sprint to Election Day. LINK

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: ABC News' Amy Bingham and Emily Friedman: " Obama, Romney Campaigns Spar Over China" To hear the campaigns tell it, President Obama is a softie on China "cheating" and Mitt Romney outsourced American jobs to Chinese factories. Those are the latest attack lines the two camps are launching with just 50 days remaining in the race for the White House. LINK

OTHER / ELECTION FUNDING: Politico's Alexander Burns: " Crossroads targets House races" The powerful conservative groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS are launching a new, $10-plus million advertising offensive hitting every level of the 2012 campaign - including the Crossroads groups' first ad this cycle in a U.S. House race. The bulk of the organizations' spending is still aimed at capturing the White House and Senate for Republicans. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS: " Mitt Romney Campaign: Is There Tension Behind the Scenes?" LINK

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