DeMint not ruling out presidential bid

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) -- a rapidly-emerging national conservative figure -- is not ruling out a run for the White House.

In an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network, DeMint said that he does not "desire" to run but left the door open for a bid.

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"Well I guess I’ve learned not to rule out anything in life but right now it’s the last thing I want to do," he said. "It’s not something I desire. Anyone who really desires it does not know how much trouble we’re in as a country because we’ve got some tough times ahead of us and we need a President, who says we can get through it."

DeMint has become a favorite of the conservative base partly for his support for conservative candidates in primary races. He was an early backer of Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio (R) when he was running an insurgent campaign to catch up with then-front runner Gov. Charlie Crist (R).

Rubio now has a wide lead over Crist in the primary and Crist has said he is considering an independent bid.

DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund has supported Rubio and other candidates around the country.

Though DeMint said he did not have a "desire" to run, he dropped some strong hints that he is considering a bid.

"Frankly, the people that I’ve seen here in politics I realize that I can hold my ground with any of them," he said. "There are a lot of changes I’d like to make in this country and I think Americans are going to be ready for someone to tell them the truth next election. Not someone who will give them a good speech but someone who reminds them that the federal government has to do less not more."

Cross-posted to the Briefing Room