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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Governor Perry is a fine man. He could have restored sanity and conservatism to a big, out of control government. I believe he would have encouraged the rugged individualism we once had in our country and restored confidence in people to strive to achieve their dreams by encouraging growth and jobs and business. He gave me hope that a real guy who has run a fantasticly successful state for a long time would rein in this dream-wrecking, blood-sucking monstrosity we have now have in Washington.
I will miss his self-efacing humor, his humility, his down-to-earth ideas and his presence in this very important upcoming election. It is too bad people couldn't see what he had to offer because he wasn't blessed with golden-throated oration skills, such as the present occupier of the White House. The old saying goes "we get what we get". Good luck everyone.
oh no! where will that leave america! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Good. Now let's see who is favored.. Gingrich or Romney. The guy from Pa. has no chance and Paul best serves if he runs 3rd party. That way the media cannot ignore.
should have been before Iowa, he never had a chance what a looser..
Another great reality TV show with both comedy and drama...more comedy than drama actually...comes to an end.
Jeez! He's like a cat, in or out, Perry.
Karl Rove wants Mittens to be the nominee, so Parry needs to leave the field to ensure Gingrich or Santorum don't have a good enough showing to keep them in through the Florida primary.
What or what will Parry do now? Go home and pray for Texas to stop embarrassing itself with their silly Republican governors?
Well, at least he manned-up and admitted he can't cut it. Good for him!
Perry says he wants to serve our country then maybe he can strap on some combat boots and head for afghanistan. Isn't he the candidate that wants to go back Iraq? I'm sure I am not alone when I say I am going to miss his comedy act. Now go home and create some more 7 dollar an hour jobs 1 percenter.
Go back to Texas, if they'll have you. You'll never be relevant in current day politics, Perry.
They should all drop ...They are just wasting people time
anyone surprised? How can an Ignorant wanna be idiot who calls US's second biggest Ally, Turkey, a terrorist state.
i think it is a shame rick perry is dropping out i visit texas all the time i see a very stable and working state wish all our state,s was as engerize and going places it is booming state,with aleader leadin it in the right deriction way to go perry god bless you and your family ,we are losing a great canadate
SO, after making Va. waste money defending its election policies,Rick decides he is going to drop out!!! Thanks for nothing,defender of state's right's!! good ridance and tell Michelle to drop out also!!
First Cain, then Bachmann, now Perry. All the entertainment value has gone out of this primary.
im from houston and i never thought he was ready to be POTUS, GOP is out of touch with reality
I'm sorry to hear this. I believe Rick Perry would be an excellent president.
Discount tuition for illegal aliens is not a gaffe. Perry's campaign went south after he dropped that bombshell on the American people. Perry should have run as a Democrat, as he hasn't changed since he was Al Gore's campaign manager in Texas in 1988. Hasta la vista, Ricky. Texas now has one favorite son in the race, a real Republican, a real conservative — Ron Paul.
Boo-urns. I was hoping to hear tonight which other completely friendly countries he was going to accuse of being run by terrorists and threaten to blow up.
It's amazing that we in Texas have been able to survive two buffoons in the Governor’s office. Bush and Perry have hurt the image of the whole state.
Least surprising announcement from the GOP area, who's next?
Does this mean Perry has to return to Texas ?
Was he ever in it?
As Gomer would say: "Surprise, surprise, surprise."
.....and don't come back !