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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Rick Perry is a patriot. I thank him for taking part in the debates.He helped Mitt by offering a contrast in arrogance by Rick and a humble Mitt Romney..
Not surprising. Perry just wasn't ready for prime-time. Given his recent effort to turn an ally into an enemy, the country wil be alot better off with him off the stage.
So someone finally explained to him that 5% is much less than 25%, and he has no chance of winning the nomination? That's nice.
with a poor showing not only in the few primaries that have taken place but also in the media events referred to as debates, it was just a matter of time for this to happen. Downside of this is he will, ala Sarah Palin, he will now be asked to appear on FOX, CNN, really any, "news program", to provide his opinion on the race as it continues. As a non-candidate he will be able to, again ala Sarah Palin, say whatever he wants (no matter how ridiculous) about anyone still in the race (the President included) without fear of being called on to explain his comment or back it up with facts.
Not a day too soon, but we will all miss the comic relief.
And then there were four... only three to oust before this country stands a chance for the return to liberty...
Next stop: Newtsville... then Santorum Junction... lastly, "Anyone but Romney".
GO RON PAUL!
Most intelligent statement he's made since August....
See yaaaa... Back to the farm which you came from.
Another sad day for comedy writers everywhere!
Somebody better give him a map so he can find his way back to Texas.
Good. The dude was second only to Biden in being a foot-in-mouth gaffe machine buffoon.
Then there were three left to fight Romney for the nomination. Gingrich, Santorum, and um...um...umm...who was that third one????
Perry is dropping out... I wonder if I should go to the movies or just Netflix it tonight.
But God told him to run! Why didn't he win?!
Please, Please do not drop out. You would make a great President.!
Perry made the right move for once....good thing he is dropping out...he was only wasting time and money!
you'd think the candidates that were endorsed by god himself would have done better in the polls.
Perry's campaign was over months ago. Same goes for Bachmann, Gingy, and Santorum. They need to drop out and let support coalesce behind the best candidate to beat Obama if they want a shot at unseating him.
It's about time.The rest of the United States has finally realized what some Texans already know: Gov Perry would not make a good president. Not saying I am big fan of President Obama; however, President Obama would, in my opinion, easily beat Gov Perry in the general election. Now if Texans would just vote Gov Perry out of office in the election. Wishful thinking!
Shhewwww...we almost had another Bilderberger in office...
If Rick Perry endorse Newt, then we all know that Newt is scrambling for his political life right now with this Marianne scandal.
If he doesn't endorse Newt, then I will assume Mr. Perry isn't quite as bad as it seems. Still bad, though, politically speaking.
Ron Paul 2012
I think Romney as the GOP candidate would be the GOP equivalent of John Kerry. So I guess this is bad news for Obama supporters and good news for GOP supporters – Obama risks getting a tougher election than thought now that Romney seems more like becoming a GOP equivalent of Howard Dean rather than a GOP equivalent of Kerry. I think most speaks for Gingrich or Santorum becoming the GOP candidate now, and should Romney become the candidate anyway, I'm sure he'll lose against Obama like Kerry lost to Bush – not by much, but enough.
oooooh, surprise there.
Poor Slick Rick an Al Gore Democrat. So now he will endorsed another leftist, GingRich who was caught on the sofa with Nancy Pelosi
Thank God, and not a minute too soon. Go back to Texas and create more below minimum wage jobs, and kill more inmates! That's about the only thing your supposedly good at.