Instead, the powerful lawmaker, who has played the role of kingmaker in past Senate races, tipped his hat at the GOP field, noting he preferred any conservative to President Obama. 

“We’ve got some great conservative leaders in the Republican primary, and they’d all be much better than President Obama,” said DeMint. 

DeMint said he will refocus his attention and political clout on the upper chamber, which Republicans have a shot at recapturing in next year's elections. 

“The Senate is just as critical to the future of our nation, and we need more leaders like Mike LeeMike LeeSenate Republicans reluctant to rush vote on healthcare bill Time to get Trump’s new antitrust cop on the beat GOP at decisive moment on Planned Parenthood MORE and Rand PaulRand PaulSenate Republicans reluctant to rush vote on healthcare bill Healthcare bill 'not the last step' to repealing ObamaCare, Republican says Rand Paul: 'If you offer me a 90 percent repeal, I'd probably vote for it' MORE who will fight the big spenders in both nations,” he said, referring to two of his Senate allies. 

DeMint’s powerful Senate Conservatives Fund distributed million of dollars to several conservative candidates during the last election, and played a signficant role in the rise of Tea Party politicians in the Senate.