Charleston, South Carolina (CNN) - Rick Perry is telling supporters that he will drop his bid Thursday for the Republican presidential nomination, two sources familiar with his plans told CNN.
The Texas governor will make the announcement before the CNN debate in South Carolina, the sources said.
Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Southern Republican Presidential Debate hosted by John King and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the South Carolina primary, go to CNNPolitics.com or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.
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The move comes two days before the South Carolina primary and hours before the final debate ahead of the voting, which will take place on CNN Thursday night.
The campaigns of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum reached out to the Perry campaign Thursday morning in an "aggressive effort" to get his endorsement, according to a source close to Perry.
Perry will indicate his support for Newt Gingrich but will not explicitly endorse him, a source with knowledge of Perry's decision told CNN.
To follow the latest developments on Perry, follow the Ticker's update here.
Perry placed fifth in Iowa and last in New Hampshire - a state in which he did not actively compete - and had said he would launch a bid to win in South Carolina.
"South Carolinians are looking for a conservative candidate that will get this country back working again and I am it," Perry told CNN last week.
On Wednesday, CNN asked Perry about a poll that showed him with only 6% support among likely voters in the South Carolina primary.
He insisted he was continuing with the effort to have a strong showing in the state.
"We're convinced that that's our goal, so the idea that we're going to do anything else, other than try to impact this election is - that's why we got in it. We didn't get in it because it was our purpose in life to be the president of the United States. We did it because it was our purpose to serve this country, and that's what we've been called for, and that's what we're going to continue doing."
When Perry entered the race in August, he immediately did well in the polls. But a series of gaffes, particularly at debates against his rivals, sent his support plummeting.
On Thursday, his campaign website continued to say "help Rick Perry win South Carolina and get America back on track."
Perry's official campaign Facebook page was filled with posts, largely from disappointed voters.
– CNN's Josh Levs contributed to this report.
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This guy was supposed to be the Tea Party's Great White Hope and then they found out just how stupid he is. What is it with politicians from Texas anyway?
Keep em dropping Ron Paul!
I support freedom for everyone, even foreign nations.
Ron Paul 2012
owww gee wizzzzz It was fun watching him debate. Somebody pls make him think he can win again and get him back on stage. But really, no surprise here. Another one bites the dust with 3 to go and then the big rich guy gets to face the fury. lol lol
Goodbye Mr. Perry, vote for Ron Paul in 2012! =)
Maybe there is a God.
He was an embarassment to Republicans, to Conservatives, to Aggies, to Air Force veterans, to Texans, and to himself! Good riddance!
Thank Gawd. At least we won't have a Neo-Bush repeat.
Ol' Newt probably paid him to do it because it makes no sense to drop out before he gets his butt kicked on Saturday. The anyone but Mitt suge continues, which is a good thing because Newt does not stand a chance of beating Obama.
thank God he was embarrassing Texas. Maybe he can go home and make plans to secede from the Union. Then he can be President (of Texas.)
Who is he going to endorse? Steven Colbert?
Bad news Rick! We inTexas don't want you back, either!!! You need to think about getting a REAL job :o)
....and this guy is Governor of Texas. He has been exposed.
I'am so sorry to hear that Rick Scary is dropping out,now we wont be going back into Iraq, and gay people who have always served in the military will be allowed to serve openly,and don't forget our number 1 enemy Turkey,who has been an ally will continue to be our ally. The world cannot do without Rick Scary.
What happened to the idea that he (Perry) was told by God to run? This run will sink Perry's reelection chances as well. I just hope that peoples in Texas have opened their eyes to see who and what Perry represents. If they elect him again, they deserve him. Good riddance.
Perry gets points for persistence if for nothing else. One more instance in his long record of sticking with the job despite performance so dismal that anyone else would have packed it in long ago. He stayed in college all the way to graduation with a D average; he remains governor of Texas after many years of declining literacy and the sad reality that most Texans can now look forward to spending their "golden years" wearing a blue vest and peering into plastic bags at the doors of a major national retail store without any hope of a dignified retirement.
This is a good day.
Don't let that tail between your legs get to you - I hear your Texans back home love humility.
This is good news, although I am not a supporter of Newt, I hope he wins SC. Now that Santurom looks to have won Iowa, Mitt having won NH, if Newt wins SC, then the other states will begin to matter. I hate to have the process stop after just 3 states and all of a sudden we have a "de facto" nominee.
One more down. Newt will be next.
All I can say is Thank Goodness!!!!!
At least that announcement ensures there will be no repeat of a GW Bush Presidency!
Seldom has there been a candidate so amazingly unprepared for the office of president as Gov.Perry. I would think he is giving the state of Texas tremendous pause at just how unprepared he really was on the national stage. Doubtless any reasoned person would be shocked at his total lack of perceived interest in global events, poltical protocal, understanding of our Judiciary and fundamental ability to articulate cohesive and well reasoned responses to the most basic questions asked in the past 400 or so debates. His most telling short coming was a desperate play to appeal to the hard core right wing element of the party. It was vulgar and unbecoming to the ideals of the character of the office.
And then there were four....
Thank goodness! Nobody really wanted *yet another* right-wing Texan in the White House. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on *me*!
Now he can go back to Texas, secede, and run for President of Texas.