CNN is reporting that Rick Perry is going to announce his exit from the GOP nomination process.
Or, more accurately, that he is going to announce that it has finally dawned on him that he exited the race some time ago.
Update (Doug Mataconis): Here’s the link:
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.
It was not known immediately whether Perry will endorse another candidate.
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.”
A few political reporters currently down in South Carolina are reporting on Twitter that Perry will formally endorse Gingrich but that hasn’t been confirmed. In any case, to the extent he was still having an impact on the race it’s clear that Perry was drawing from the same type of voters that Gingrich was, so Perry getting out clearly helps the former Speaker even without a formal endrosement.
Perry will be holding a press conference in Charleston at 11am to make the announcement.