Perry had said he would reassess his bid following his poor showing Tuesday in the Iowa caucuses.
"And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State. ...Here we come South Carolina!!!" Perry tweeted after capturing just 10 percent of the caucus vote and finishing fifth behind Mitt Romney, Rich Santorum, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich. Only Michele Bachmann had a poorer showing and she ended her bid Wednesday.
South Carolina Republicans hold their primary Jan. 21. Perry is skipping next week's New Hampshire primary.
The Dallas Morning News noted the lackluster results in Iowa represent a steep drop for Perry, who entered the race as a well-financed conservative alternative to the Romney -- who has run as a conservative but is perceived by many voters as more moderate. Perry initially rose in the polls only to stumble badly in the series of debates leading up to the caucuses.
Perry said he was running not because he wanted to be president but because "the country is in trouble."
"This campaign has never been about me," he said. "It's about a movement of Americans who see our country that's really not on the track that most of us want it to be on."