Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) on Tuesday closed the door to a run for president, saying he's not considering getting into the race.
Some conservative activists have urged DeMint to jump into the race due to their dissatisfaction with the current crop of candidates. But the conservative kingmaker said he is starting to become impressed with the field, and even named one candidate who stood out to him.
DeMint made waves earlier this month when he told The Hill he was weighing a presidential run out of respect for his supporters who want him to enter the field.
Even though DeMint won't be in the race, he is still expected to play a role in the GOP's presidential nomination process. The senator is a Tea Party favorite, and many congressional candidates pined for an endorsement from his Senate Conservatives Fund during the 2010 midterms. He also hails from South Carolina, a key early primary state.
The senator stopped short of endorsing Bachmann, who stole headlines at the debate by officially announcing her presidential run, but praised her tenacity in opposing President Obama's healthcare law.
"She should not be underestimated," he said.
DeMint said he is not ready to endorse a candidate yet, but hinted he could come closer to making a decision in a few months.
"By the fall ... we'll see which ones have the courage to be president," he said.