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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He just made himself a complete fool. I hope he doesn't endorse anybody.
Sorry to see the best candidate go.
Perry had no chance from the second he opened his mouth.
the republican candidate pool is gaining in collective intelligence as we go. weve lost a couple of very ignorant folks, perry being the latest.
Isn't this a surprise...
This is good. He has not gained ground in months and more conservative candidates like Perry, Santorum and Newt are splitting up the true conservative vote. Better to drop out before SC to allow the more conservative non-Romney front runners to swell their ranks.
Good. He seems just like a clone of Bush and we don't want that to ever happen again.
He wouldn't be a very good President anyways. He didn't even know the drinking age.
Now maybe a TRUE conservative has a chance. The combined conservative vote FAR outnumbers the Romney vote, but up till now it has been fragmented between several candidates. Now, if either Gingrich or Santorum would do the right thing and follow Perry, we could get a TRUE conservative to run against Obama and rid ourselves of Romneycare/Obamacare.
I think it's premature for the networks to be saying that if Romney wins in South Carolina that the race is over. He may get let'say 30% of the voters but there's 70% who didn't vote. for him. I think it's important to keep this in mind.
I blame the Turks!
Rick, you were the best in the field. Sorry to see you go.
thats better,, now Perry please endorse Newt.
First smart thing he's done since....well, ever.
Rick Perry fulfills his true calling......DROP OUT. Looks like the wacky Evangelicals have a new hero in the anything but Mitt battle.
Well sorry to see him drop out we need anyone in office besides that piece of GARBAGE NOBAMA
It's about time ...
And save a pretzel for the gas jets!
Well this is completely unsuprising. He should have dropped out months ago after completely embarassing himself at the early debates.
HAPPY TRAILS TEXAN...
oh, please find a big rock and crawl under it, don't come out. Only do so to tell us if you see your shadow or not at the end of winter.
WE'LL TAKE IT FROM THERE.
Good. Next it's going to be Newt after his ex-wife exposes him for the fraud he is, and then Romney goes-up against Ron Paul and gets his butt handed to him as he's exposed for the war-mongering globalist elitist he is.
Ron Paul ~ 2012 ~
Since only Paul and Romney will appear on the Virginia ticket, the remaining establishment candidates are only there to take votes from Paul, duh. Google "Ron Paul It's over"
You don't have to be in the pew every Sunday to know this was coming!