So reports CNN’s Peter Hamby:
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.
The South Carolina primary takes place Saturday.
Perry had poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, and had said he would launch a bid to win in South Carolina.
The marginal non-Mitt candidates are slowly exiting the race. But is it too late?
Update: (h/t BostonBruin) According to the Politico, Perry will endorse Newt:
Rick Perry is expected to drop out later this morning at an 11 a.m. press conference, two sources confirmed to POLITICO. He’s also expected to endorse Newt Gingrich, the sources confirmed.
The news of Perry’s withdrawal from the race was first reported by CNN.
It gives the surging Gingrich a huge boost heading into the final debate tonight, and the South Carolina primary on Saturday, in which he’s already closing in on Mitt Romney.
Perry has indicated he plans to support Gingrich, two sources confirm. Gingrich wrote the forward to Perry’s states rights’ tome, “Fed Up!”
Update II: Video courtesy of CBS News: