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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Thank goodness........he is just sad. "Oops!"
Didn't God tell him to run for the President or did God just tell him to run
Well, I bet Texans are wishing he would stay.
Texas doesn't like to use the same textbooks or curriculum as the rest of the country because they like to put faith before common sense or reality. Much like Governor Perry.
There is a god
About time...good riddance...
Thank you for your service to our country. Good luck to you in Texas and much more success to you and your state.
He should have dropped out a long time ago!!!
Is his arm going to get twisted again in Texas and shipped back to Florida for another try?
Aw crap. Now he'll be returning here to Texas.
Is he going to refund all the cash contributions he got?
But who will reinvade Iraq if Perry is gone?
We're going to miss you, Rick. Actually, we're going to miss the gaffes and ridiculous statements.
Maybe he's quitting so that _he_ can return to Iraq to try to lend validity to his previous statement.
Yet MSNBC is saying he's staying in until the Primary. Which one of you knows what you're talking about, versus which one is full of it. Considering the track records of both networks, along with Faux, can we really trust any of you to "report" the news, rather than make it up as you go?
Good – stop wasting people's money on an ego trip.
How come I knew he had to do this before he did???
Another apparently chosen by god that just did not have enough faith it seems. lol.
"And another one bites the dust, another one bites the dust, hey, hey, another one bites the dust ... '
So I guess God did not want him to run after all. Perry was just hearing voices in his head. lol
wata joke, lol....jeehaw
I wonder if he'll remember all his reasons for dropping out...
I guess you CAN mess with Texas.
It's about time he quit wasting money. He screwed up too much to have gone this far.
I'm suprised at the timing, but this was inevitable. He had no path to the nomination. He may be conservative (but he was a Democrat at one point), but he lack of knowledge on some issues with the federal government was his downfall. And his willingness to just jump in on an issue without research or knowledge.................which leads him say dumb things...................the GOP is better without him muddying up the field. BTW – I don't vote for him here in Texas either. I think the last straw was he was in 3d place in his own state behind Romney and Gingrich..................just sad.
II'm not surprised about Perry. The fact that Santorum is likely the last "not-Romney" standing is astounding.