The Note's Must-Reads for Monday, January 16, 2012

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates Jacqueline Fernandez, Jayce Henderson, and Amanda VanAllen JON HUNTSMAN Politico's Maggie Haberman, Juana Summers and Jonathan Martin: " Jon Huntsman to drop out, back Mitt Romney in 2012 elections" Jon Huntsman will drop out of the GOP presidential race Monday morning and endorse Mitt Romney, POLITICO has confirmed. Huntsman will endorse Romney in a speech at 11 a.m. Monday at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Carol E. Lee and Neil King Jr. " Jon Huntsman to Drop Out of Presidential Race" Republican presidential candidate Jon M. Huntsman Jr. intends to drop out of the nomination contest on Monday and endorse rival Mitt Romney, the Huntsman campaign said. "He's going to endorse Gov. Romney tomorrow and urge the party to come together," one person briefed on events said. LINK

The Hills' Daniel Strauss and Josh Lederman: " Huntsman to drop out of GOP race" Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) will drop out of the Republican presidential primary on Monday and endorse his chief rival, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.), according to a sources in his campaign. "It's true," said a Huntsman campaign source. "He doesn't want to stand in the way of the person who's best capable of beating Barack Obama, and that's Mitt Romney." LINK

USA Today's Jackie Kucinich: " Aides: Huntsman to withdraw from GOP race, endorse Romney" Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman will drop out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination today, a campaign adviser confirmed Sunday night. The news of the decision comes the same day Huntsman received the endorsement of The State, the newspaper in Columbia, S.C., and nearly a week after finishing third in the New Hampshire primary, where he had focused his campaign. LINK

The Washington Post's Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza: " Jon Huntsman will leave Republican presidential race, endorse Mitt Romney, officials say" Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr., whose campaign for the Republican presidential nomination never took off, will quit the race Monday morning and endorse former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, according to campaign officials with knowledge of the decision. LINK

RON PAUL ABC News' Jason Volack: " Ron Paul Returns to SC, Picks Up Endorsement" Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul tonight received the endorsement of South Carolina state Sen. Tom Davis, a state lawmaker popular with tea party activists. Speaking at a rally in Myrtle Beach, Davis praised Paul's "drastic and radical" efforts to reign in government spending. LINK

RICK SANTORUM ABC News' Shushannah Walshe and Michael Falcone: " Rick Santorum Plans Offensive Against Mitt Romney, Ron Paul In South Carolina" Presidential candidate Rick Santorum plans to open the final week of campaigning before voters go to the polls in South Carolina with his strongest assault yet on rivals Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Aides to Santorum told ABC News on Sunday that the former Pennsylvania senator is fed up with the negative attacks coming from the campaigns of those two opponents and from their allies. He will hold a press conference to make his displeasure known after his first campaign event of the day on Monday. LINK

The New York Daily News' Jonathan Lemire: " Coalition of evangelicals hold pow-wow on GOP presidential candidates, decide to back Santorum" Desperate to nominate a Republican more conservative than Mitt Romney, a group of religious power brokers met in Texas Saturday and announced they are throwing their support behind Rick Santorum. More than 100 evangelical leaders attended the controversial confab with the hopes of coalescing around one of the traditional right-wingers in the divided GOP primary field. LINK

The New York Times' Michael Luo and Mike McIntire: " Donors Gave as Santorum Won Earmarks" The announcements flowed out of Rick Santorum's Senate office: a $3.5 million federal grant to Piasecki Aircraft to help it test a new helicopter propeller technology; another $3.5 million to JLG Industries to bolster its bid to build all-terrain forklifts for the military; $1.4 million to Medico Industries to upgrade equipment for its munitions work. LINK

The Washington Times' Ralph Hallow: " Activists say pro-Santorum vote was rigged" A civil war is breaking out among evangelical leaders over allegations of a rigged election and ballot stuffing at a Saturday gathering of religious and social conservatives. LINK

MITT ROMNEY The Los Angeles Times' Paul West: " Stop-Romney conservatives face a tough climb in South Carolina" The conservative contenders trying to slow Mitt Romney's sprint to the presidential nomination are running out of time, as the same dynamic that kept the right from coalescing in Iowa two weeks ago again plays to the front-runner's advantage. Saturday's South Carolina primary is the last realistic chance for a social conservative to emerge as a viable alternative to Romney. LINK

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