The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday, September 19, 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: Politico's Donovan Slack: " Obama: Jay-Z and I have a lot in common" President Obama took time out from a fundraiser Tuesday to praise his hosts, Beyonce and Jay-Z, at the 40/40 club in New York City. "Beyonce could not be a better role model for my girls," he said, according to a pool report. He added that he and Jay-Z have a lot in common. LINK

Greg Giroux: " Obama Holds 5-Point Edge Over Romney Among Likely Voters in Poll" President Barack Obama leads Republican challenger Mitt Romney even as a majority of voters continues to disapprove of the president's handling of the U.S. economy, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Obama holds a five-point advantage over Romney, 50 percent to 45 percent, among likely voters in the nationwide survey conducted Sept. 12-16. Obama led Romney by 50 percent to 44 percent among registered voters in the poll released yesterday. LINK

MITT ROMNEY / GOP: ABC News' Elizabeth Hartfield: " GOP Senate Candidates Denounce Romney's Comments" Democrats aren't the only ones taking issue with the now famous fundraiser video of Mitt Romney characterizing the 47 percent of voters who will vote for Obama as "dependent on government." Some Republicans have denounced his comments. LINK

The Boston Globe's Matt Viser: " Romney holds to views on aid, tries to quiet uproar" Mitt Romney sought on Tuesday to quell the controversy surrounding his comments disparaging nearly half of the electorate, attempting­ to engage in a philosophical debate over the role of government even as some in his party began distancing themselves from their presidential standard-bearer. As the full 49-minute video from a private May fund-raiser emerged online, Romney largely stuck with his controversial comment that President Obama's supporters are "dependent on government," even as he acknowledged that some among his targeted 47 percent cannot be so easily categorized. LINK

The Hill's Cameron Joseph: " GOP Frets Romney is Blowing Race" Republicans are worried that Mitt Romney is blowing a presidential race he should be winning, following publication of his comment that 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax and are dependent on the government. Two GOP Senate candidates distanced themselves Tuesday from the remarks, revealed in a leaked video from a private fundraiser. And Republican strategists warned that the candidate's words could fire up the Democratic base while alienating independent voters. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Mark Barabak: " Romney's 'victims' comment may cost him precious time" With less than seven weeks until the election, Mitt Romney can ill afford precious time explaining away another perceived gaffe, much less one playing to the image Democrats hope to paint of an unfeeling, uncaring plutocrat. But that may be the highest price exacted by the controversy over taxes, victimhood and dependence that has been stirred by a secretly taped video of the candidate at a closed-door fundraiser. LINK

The New York Daily News' Kristen Lee: " Mitt Romney defends 47 percent comments: 'I want to get 50.1% or more,' of the vote, he says after flap over slam about American freeloaders" Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is on the ropes over ten minutes of video taken at a Florida fundraiser months ago. In the leaked excerpts from his private chat with well-heeled GOP donors, the Republican challenger managed to dismiss 47% of Americans as government freeloaders, joke about Mexicans and attack Palestinians. LINK

The Washington Times' Seth McLaughlin: " Romney, in damage-control mode, takes on Obama's views on wealth" Mitt Romney on Tuesday said that President Obama's economic vision embraces the notion that government is an instrument to be used to redistribute people's hard-earned money as the Republican presidential candidate tried to curtail political damage from caught-on-camera comments that indicated he has written off nearly half of the electorate. LINK

The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg and Ashley Parker: " Romney Says Remarks on Voters Help Clarify Position" Mitt Romney on Tuesday fully embraced the substance of his secretly recorded comments that 47 percent of Americans are too dependent on government, saying that his views helped define the philosophical choice for voters in his campaign against President Obama. "The president's view is one of a larger government; I disagree," Mr. Romney said in an interview on Fox News. LINK

POLL NUMBERS: USA Today's Susan Page: " Poll: In 2-point presidential race, Romney trips over 47%" The good news for Republican challenger Mitt Romney: After three rocky weeks, he remains within striking distance of President Obama in the battleground states that matter most. The bad news: His latest misstep could upend that. A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of Swing States, completed Monday night, shows Romney lagging President Obama by only 2 percentage points, 48%-46%, well within the survey's margin of error and a point closer than their contest last month. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Neil King Jr. and Danny Yadron: " Obama Extends Lead In New Poll" Buoyed by an upswing in economic optimism, President Barack Obama has strengthened his support among voters and is now rated as equal to Mitt Romney on which candidate can best improve the economy, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds. The survey gives the president his highest job approval since March, at 50%, and shows him leading Mr. Romney among likely voters, 50% to 45%, with two weeks before the campaign hits a major landmark with the first candidates' debate. LINK

The Washington Post's Laura Vozzella, Dan Balz, and Jon Cohen: " Post Poll: Obama up 8 points over Romney in Virginia" With just seven weeks of campaigning left before the November election, President Obama holds a clear lead over Mitt Romney in Virginia, buoyed by growing optimism about the state of the country and fueled by a big gender gap working in his favor, according to a new Washington Post poll. Obama leads his Republican rival 52 percent to 44 percent among likely voters. Among all registered voters, the president leads 50 percent to 43 percent, a margin identical to that recorded in a survey in early May. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS: " Mitt Romney Video: Republican vs. Democrat Reaction" LINK

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