FIRST ON CNN: Sources: Perry dropping out of GOP race
January 19th, 2012
09:07 AM ET
11 years ago

FIRST ON CNN: Sources: Perry dropping out of GOP race

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 or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.

Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @politicalticker

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.

Also see:

Polls: South Carolina primary tightening hours before crucial debate

Gingrich as compares Romney's 'desperate' attacks to 2008 campaign

Romney the establishment, Santorum the 'rebel,' ad says

Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry
soundoff (352 Responses)

    It's about time. He was never ready for te big leagues.

    January 19, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  2. Jon

    Could've saved himself some time and money by just quitting after about 3-4 debates. Definitely before "oops."

    January 19, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  3. Dave

    Please stay in, Rick! The laughs you give me make my day so much brighter!

    January 19, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  4. jack

    I seen this coming from a mile away.

    January 19, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  5. Brian

    I thought he dropped out after Iowa???

    January 19, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. Root Boy Slim

    Perry is also reportedly pledging 100% support for Ron Paul. Congrats Rick, you're on the right Team !

    January 19, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  7. Mauibrad

    Oh, come on, Rick, we didn't get to use the Glen Maxey book yet.

    January 19, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  8. Curt

    What a shame, I was hoping for a Perry/Palin ticket. Just kidding.

    January 19, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  9. Jay

    He will surely be missed – HA!

    January 19, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  10. Captain Obvious

    he will again focus on being a tyrannical governor and continue administering toxic vaccines to your children

    January 19, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  11. jewell

    i was going to vote for the gop candidate this year. but unless my man ron paul gets the nod, they have the most pathetic field in history. its so unbelievable that one can only think they dont want to win for some reason. romney is horrible. are we at the point where no one who would be a great leader wants to lead because of the scutiny and the fact they can make tons of money not involving themselves in the cesspool of politics?

    January 19, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  12. C in the South

    smh at this guy...what a failure! 6 months ago, Perry's path to the nomination was the political equivalent of carrying a jar of water from one end of the room to the other w/out dropping it. If he were to make it to the other end with any water left, the nomination was his but unfortunately, this idiot dropped the jar as soon as it was handed to him.

    I don't know many people from Texas, but what I do know is that they deserve better.

    January 19, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  13. Mitt Romney

    The most intelligent remark ever from Rick Perry.

    January 19, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  14. vatoloke

    Actually, he had already dropped out when he dropped in.

    January 19, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. animal48

    Another one bites the dust..uhg..another one bites the dust!

    Obama 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 19, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  16. William

    NO, please don't drop out. Perry's got the best record running, over a million net jobs created, six balanced budgets in a row, and a reduction of each Texan's share of the debt. Perry's the only one running with a record of success like this, and we're screwed if Romney gets it.

    January 19, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  17. Patriot

    Romney will have this wrapped up in SC. Then it will be rally around the Nominee. Romney / Christie or Rubio ticket comming soon. Shame, Ron Paul will finish a close 2nd. I wish he can win but TPTB will not allow it.

    January 19, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  18. Matt Ford

    Well, at least this clears the GOP field a bit. The poor guy never had a chance because of his stance on immigration.

    January 19, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  19. tenaciousd1975

    Wait till you hear it from the horse's mouth. Don't believe the lying media who is hellbent on picking our nominee. Why would Perry drop out before this weekend?? That makes absolutely no sense at all.

    January 19, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  20. Cat in the Hat

    This was a very good candidate on his record and morals. Just couldn't get the GOP establishment endorsement (not his turn) or tackle a polished approach to debating. Not even the liberal media had a chance to destroy him, so maybe it is a blessing in disguise. I will give him credit for being himself and not using canned speeches or teleprompters like the current occupier in charge. Good luck Perry with your future endeavors.

    January 19, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  21. Riley

    Support Mitt Romney.

    January 19, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  22. larry

    And then there were 4. Only going to be Romney and Paul in the end.

    January 19, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  23. Linoge

    Don't let the door . . .

    January 19, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  24. Andy

    A little late, as usual. Not the brightest crayon in the box but the right call.

    January 19, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  25. Keith Rubino

    Oops. I can't remember that name of the candidate who just dropped off. Ron Paul? I.. I can't. Sorry. Oops. He was a strong candidate for showing up until the debate... then it all went downhill.

    January 19, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
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