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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Good riddance!!! Now if we could only get him to resign as governor of Texas!
interesting, and I think the Santorum voters know that it's a wasted vote to vote for Santorum.
So it'll be down to a fair fight between Gingrich and Romney for the win, and with Paul supporters simply trying to do the best they can with their message about fiscal security and why its more important to balance budgets than to nation build middle eastern countries.
Just grabbing 15 – 20% in South Carolina is a major victory for that message.
Even if Newt wins in South Carolina, and the recount in Iowa gives that state to Santorum – Romney's organization in every state is formidable, so we'll just have a renewed fight for a while. Paul's intention to win Nevada will have special importance.
Nobody but Paul can stop Romney in Nevada, because the others didn't get organized in time.
Now all he needs to do is donate all his money and endorse Ron Paul and everything will be fine.
Good riddance, don't let the door it you in the rear.
Smart move by Perry. He should have done this months ago. As President the biased press would crucify him.
He's better off staying in Texas.
As you know I called this press conference to let you know that I, that I ? that I?that I? Give me a minute it will come to me. Well anyway the weather is nice, tell you what, let me meet with you tomorrow and I'll be able to think of why I called you here today. Thank you, Goodbye.
For someone that said he'd never run but the No Agenda guys called over a year ago, this comes as no surprise. And with Ron Paul being used as a vote / poll getter much the same way Huckabee was, well, you kinda get the idea. It's going to be Romney / Perry on the ticket. This has been known for some time.
One down Four to Go!
If Perry hadn't told people they were "heartless" for not supporting the DREAM act (aka illegal immigrates children get instate tuition) then he might be competing against Mitt.
Next time, stand up against illegal immigration.
It was readily apparent once his gaffes emerged that the general public absolutely didn't want another challenged Texas governor.
Cant believe his campaign ad where he bashes gays and the military didnt work. Darn
Rick – good luck back in Texas. All things aside – you would not have made a good president.
We don't want another Texan as president. The last one was a disaster.
This guy is out of step with the country (as are his big backers here in TX). He talks as if he is (was) running for deacon or chief of the "social behavior police." Good riddance. Now if he would only resign as governor :).
Governor I am proud of you and I still support you all the way. You still have the best job in the world and that is the Governor of the best state in the union Texas! God bless you governor!
It's a bad idea to try to run for President when you can't even count to THREE
I guess he endorsed Gingrich because he couldn't remember Romney's name...
Another clown down!
We don't want him back in our state...he can just "get on the down the road."
He turned out not to be as dumb as I thought. He appears to be smart enough to drop out. Still not a very smart person. Too bad for Texas but good for the USA.
Smartest thing he's done yet. Now get out of Texas and "serve" your country even better.
Please endorse Ron Paul, do it for your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
I smell a deal, neut is going to anoint perry as the new ambassador to texas.
I don't understand why he's dropping out. I mean, when he prayed for rain back in the early summer it took a few months, but eventually his prayers came true. I think that he needs to exercise the same rationale and patience here and surely everything will work out.
I would hope that this would be a lesson to other politicians focused on the nomination. That lesson should include understanding U.S. History, basic government knowledge, and a firm understanding that they represent the people.....all the people and not just a select few. I hope this, but it is a hope based in futility.
Wow! I'm shocked! Not that he's dropping out, but that he isn't as stooooopid as he proves himself to be. The writing on the wall was huge, in burning capital letters, and had Vanna White standing in front of them pointing to each word. But it took this long for Perry to see the light? Hmmmm....is Texas politics that full of dumb bunnies that they can compete with Alaska politics? Pee can now devote time back home with Dubya. Perhaps the Republican party can now focus its attention on better people so I can return to the GOP. Having to vote for Democrats to stay away from the GOP's current bozos isn't to my liking, but forced on me. Come on, GOP!!!