Texas Governor Rick Perry Drops Out of GOP Race and Will Endorse Gingrich

UPDATE 12:15 EST from Politico:

"This mission is greater than any one man," Perry said at a South Carolina press conference announcing the decision. Perry immediately endorsed Newt Gingrich, calling him "a conservative visionary who can transform our country."

While one Rick is winning this morning, another Rick is out. Texas Governor Rick Perry will announce this morning at 11 AM EST that he will no longer run for the Republican presidential campaign and will endorse Newt Gingrich. As reported by USA TODAY:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will end his campaign for the GOP nomination, USA TODAY has confirmed.

AP is reporting that Perry will endorse Newt Gingrich at an 11 a.m. ET news conference.

The Texas governor has been lagging in national and South Carolina polls, and has been battling with Gingrich and Rick Santorum for votes among social conservatives and evangelical voters.

A source with direct knowledge of Perry's decision to end his presidential campaign confirmed that news to USA TODAY. The source declined to be identified ahead of Perry's news conference.

Perry entered the race in August and was seen as the immediate front-runner, garnering 35% support in polls. His campaign will likely go down as one of the least successful in modern American politics, as he failed to craft a clear conservative message. Many of his gaffes became YouTube sensations and this page added its fair coverage of Perry, especially the following ones:

 

National GOP Group Calls on Rick Perry to Quit Race for President

 

SNL’s Bill Hader Triumphs Again with Rick Perry Debate Fumble

 

Rick Perry’s Hunting Ranch Controversy Drags Race Back Into the Spotlight

 

Governor Rick Perry Says US Military May Be Involved in Mexican Drug War

 

I’m Rick Perry, Mofo: Best Perry Rap Ever

 

Hit, Mr. Mercury.