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 news: Perry won't be humiliating Texas with his clownish antics on the international stage any more.
Bad News: He'll be coming home with a powerful mad-on, and he'll take out his childish frustrations on us.
I guess the evangelical vote won't be split. But he's polled so poorly that it probably won't matter for Santorum.
Long overdue. Why don't you seceed, mr. perry?
Thank you Rick. Class act country first
Interesting. I didn't think Gov. Perry had it in him. My apologies. The field thins, but the plot thickens.
The first thing he should do is hop a plane to Turkey and apologize. We'd never elect the guy after what he said; Turkey would recall its ambassador if that loon was president. Nobody ordered a Bush Lite©, so good riddance.
It is disappointing that governor Perry will drop out before the major primaries. Texas, where I am from gets no chance to even vote!. This needs to be change in the worse way!
It's sad to see him pull out I like him...He is a man that speaks clear without all the bs all other Washington insiders use. Gov. Perry actually answers questions instead of giving the run aroudn.
Is he lying AGaIN? It's a pitiful cry for help.
Great! One less person to run against! I have to wonder why no one GOT it or GETS it that President Obama took on all that the Bush regime left behind- a War, Massive indebtedness and unemployment! He has done a BRILLIANT job when you contemplate the reality that was before him and the American people.
Personally I vote for President Obama!
It's about time he read the writing on the wall
Reality sets in after strong start and poor finish.
Thank god. The country is saved. Down with the GOP.
The most entertaining character is gone. That's sad. Perry made the debates fun to watch.
At least we still have a principled candidate. There's only one person that fits that description.
It sounds like Perry was pressured by the Evangelical leaders to drop out. Perhaps this will allow Newt to catch up to Romney in the next two days.
Oh how the mighty have fallen! Newt, you're next. Losers, both of them. Romney has it tied up so the rest of you might as well leave too.
Down with the GOP
At least this leaves some window of hope that the GOP nominee won't be Romney.
Name the sources!
Looks like stuttering stanley is throwing in the towel.
After stepping into it, Perry decides to step out of it.
Yess, that Bilderberg candidate is GONE! Hopefully Newt is next.
It's about time
Just a few more and they will have to actually acknowledge that Ron Paul is on the stage and maybe ask him a question
And then there were four. Hopefully most corrupt fmr. senator Santorum (it's true, google santorum) and 3-wives, DOJ bribery investigated Newton will both drop out so we can get down to thre real business at hand; Romney vs. Paul.
Status-quo vs. We the People
They both are tied with Obama in national polls, so they are the only two that can return the WH to the GOP. Obviously Obama wants the nominee to be Romney, b/c Paul pulls the independent and disaffected Dem voting blocs.
Only Paul has the broad support to overcome Obama.
Let the games begin!