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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I wish he'd stay in the race, at least until he said something intelligent!
He should never have thrown his hat in the ring. This country has had enough of Texas governors that pander to the hard right and their oil buddies.
Rick Perry is about to drop his candidacy. This is sad but it’s all his fault. He should have never opened his mouth. After all, he was ahead of the group before he started to talk. But as you know, the rest is history. I know for sure there’s another reason he had to drop, but I just can’t remember now.
I thought he would start stating with GOD who is looking for a conservative candidate that will get this country back working again and he is it.
Mr. Perry, your GOD has failed you, so blame him. If I were you I would start hating him and never talk to him again.
"god" has been playing a lot of tricks lately: he called Perry to run and also told Bachmann to get in the presidential race. Guess he was just messing with them; then again, it can get awfully confusing listening to all those voices in one's head.
I think he's going to support Romney, the only way he'd support Ron Paul is if he was paid to. Same goes for The Grinch (aka Mr. Speaker), unless he gets paid to endorse Ron Paul he won't do it.
Don't you people see what's going on? Wake up already, vote for Ron Paul.
Awww! And here I was looking forward to more Comedy Hour!
Good Riddance. Perry is a career politican and practical joke. He has shined a negative light on Texas. I think the American public realized he was not a serious candidate for President and would be a worse version of Geore Bush. I guess God was playing a bad joke on you when he wanted you to run for President. If the answer is Rick the question must have something stupid in it!
Good riddance. Send this wingnut back to those who elected him.
This guy is a first-class moron. He should have never been in the national spotlight. He, along with the likes of Bachmann and Cain, have assured an Obama victory in 2012.
Not a big loss, he should have stayed in Texas. He has nothing good to offer the working person.
What are the 3 reasons Perry is pulling out?
I liked Perry as a social conservative and as someone who could laugh at himself. If he believes in true conservatism, he'll endorse Ron Paul.
Rick Perry has dropped his candidacy. This is sad but it’s all his fault. He should have never opened his mouth. After all, he was ahead of the group before he started to talk. But as you know, the rest is history. I know for sure there’s another reason he had to drop, but I just can’t remember now.
NOOOOO! We don't want him back. Can you ship him to Iraq or Iran? Just drop him out in the middle of the desert...please!!!!
Santorum, Gingrich and Romney need to drop out and let Ron Paul Bring this country back to its old glory. No more wars, no more free money to the banks and no more Government in our lives like NDAA, SOPA, PIPA, TSA... enough of the legalizing of Tyranny. Ron Paul 2012.
I am here to announce that I'm going to...uhh..what was that I wanted to tell you...oops~~
The guy who hadn't lost a previous election has lost his first. When he comes up again for reelection as Gov., he will be voted out. Then he can do as all the rest of his counterparts in the GOP, he can go on speaking tours & concentrate on making more wealth. Maybe there is an opening for rodeo clown..he would be perfect. Happy trails!
Best news there will be today. This Texan says Perry sucks.
Too bad such a shame. Just glad he is out, he has thrown the state of Texas and Texans back to its redneck cowboy days with ummmm oops.
He never should have been in the race at all. Think of all the money he spent that he could have donated to charity.
And then there were 4.
I don't need to watch Perry announce he is dropping out. I already know what he is going to say . . . "Opps!"
Well, He can just stay where he is, Texas does not want him back, Thank you very much.
....and then there were four. Iowa and NH effectively decide a party's nominee before over 97% of the country has a chance to vote. Gotta love democracy.