[Updated at 11:32 a.m. ET] Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Thursday he is suspending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination and endorsing Newt Gingrich.
Perry said there was "no viable path forward" for his campaign. He said Gingrich has the "heart of a conservative reformer."
Newt Gingrich is "honored to have the support of Gov. Perry," he said on Twitter on Thursday. "I humbly ask his supporters to join our campaign so we can defeat Obama."
[Initial post, 9:23 a.m. ET] 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 CarolinaREAD FULL POLITICAL TICKER POST
A panel of Florida legislators bucked national Republican Party rules Friday and approved a motion to hold the state's presidential primary on January 31.
The move, crafted to ensure that Florida goes fifth in the nominating process, is certain to scramble the presidential primary calendar and push the first contest of the GOP nomination fight into the early days of January.
Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina - the only four states allowed to vote before March 6 under Republican National Committee rules - have collectively vowed to move the dates of their caucuses and primaries ahead of Florida to protect their early voting status.
If those first four states move to the front of line as expected, the campaign for the GOP nomination will officially begin a full month earlier than expected, leaving candidates and potential candidates like Sarah Palin and Chris Christie even less time to make their cases to voters.
Already, in response to Florida's move, New Hampshire has moved up the date by which presidential candidates must file an intent to compete. That deadline is now October 28, meaning potential candidates such as Christie and Palin have less than a month to decide whether to compete in the Granite State primary.FULL STORY
Former Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer, who was ousted from his post earlier this year after an acrimonious intra-party fight, is under criminal investigation for setting up a secret fundraising contract that allegedly paid him and the party's executive director nearly $200,000 in donor money.