Rick Perry abandons presidential bid (VIDEO)

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry has told supporters he is dropping his bid for the Republican presidential nomination today, according to CNN. In a Charleston press conference on Thursday, Perry called his withdrawal "strategic retreat," and said he always devoted himself "fully for the cause of this country." The Texas governor also endorsed Newt Gingrich, Politico reported, who he said is “a conservative visionary who can transform our country."

“I have no question that Newt Gingrich has the heart of a conservative reformer and the ability to rally and captivate the conservative movement,” Perry said.

Perry made his announcement just hours before a CNN debate in South Carolina. The South Carolina primary is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 21.  

Perry's campaign did poorly in both Iowa and New Hampshire. In Iowa, he received only 10 percent of the vote, coming in 5th place. In New Hampshire, he came in last with only one percent of the vote. 

The announcement makes Perry the second major contender to drop out before the South Carolina primary, after Jon Huntsman, who withdrew and endorsed Mitt Romney on January 16.

According to the latest CNN poll of likely Republican voters in South Carolina, Perry has only 4 percent of the vote, lagging behind former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and former Penn. Sen. Rick Santorum.  

From failing to properly explain his legislative record as Governor of Texas to his propensity for debate flubs, Perry's presidential campaign was riddled with blunders and missteps from the start. 

More from GlobalPost: Rick Perry's Virginia ballot challenge rejected

Below is a video of Perry's announcement today:

RAW VIDEO: Perry Suspends Campaign, Endorses Gingrich

US News Video by NewsLook

Twitter responded to Perry's announcement as well.

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