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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Well at least he's decided to keep his dignity before his pride, it's time for him to regroup!
Where's the rest of the story?
Should have never started. Hahahahahahaha
Texas wins early and the rest of America looses welcome home Mr. Perry just like Ronald Reagan you will win the second try .
:( The only other candidate besides Paul that actually semi understands the greatest threat this country currently faces... out of control spending and the failed Federal Reserve that enables it.
He'll be lucky if he's re-elected to Governor. I think the people of Texas finally see him for what he is. Good riddance. He's an embarrassment to Texas as a state.
Triple bad day for Romney train, loses in Iowa, Gingrich leading in latest SC poll, Perry drops out. Looks like Mitt managed to steam ahead of the Republican nomination race for just two weeks before being derailed by the conservative dirty tricks machine.
Now he can take that long awaited vacation in Istanbul ;-)
The candidate is always the last to know.
Like no one saw that coming.
Now If the People Of Texas was smart they get rid of him has GOV.
Any person with just a shred of common sense should see no legitimate contender for President. Obama will have an easy 2nd term.
No! Nooooooooooooo! We've already lost Bachmann, Cain and I can't afford Comedy Central. Please stay!!!
WELL............. IT IS ABOUT TIME......A smart man would have dropped out after Iowa..... But as we all know he is DUMB.
Did God tell him to drop out?
Good news, he was an embarrassment as a member of both parties.
Oh thank the gods! What an embarrassment he would have been as president!
Well duh. This guy thought he could show up, flash a smile like he has down in Texas and win. What an idiot. The great thing is now the whole country knows just how big an idiot he truly is.
Was anybody REALLY surprised?
Reuters reports that Perry will endorse GINGRICH, thankfully. Go Gingrich!
Perry dropped out because 1) No one voted for him 2) He ran out of cash 3) What's reason number 3? I forgot. Oops...
Great now Romney gains more power in the polls. Hello another 4 years for Obama because he is at least the better of two evils.
Good riddance!! Back to the farm which came from.