Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSchumer blasts 'red flag' gun legislation as 'ineffective cop out' Lawmakers jump-start talks on privacy bill Trump border fight throws curveball into shutdown prospects MORE (S.D.), a rising star in the Republican Party, has denied Bill Kristol’s claim that he is rethinking a 2012 presidential bid.

“My mind has not changed on that at all,” Thune said. “I’m focusing on my work in the Senate.”

Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard and a major player in the GOP, said on C-SPAN Monday that Thune is “rethinking a bit” about launching a White House bid.

When asked what might have led Kristol to make this claim, Thune said, “I think there’s a lot of speculation about the field and all that.  People never tire talking about it.”

“I’m not sure what his source is,” Thune said.

When asked if he was closing the door on a presidential run, Thune said, “I made my decision and announcement months ago and my view on that hasn’t changed.”


Thune, however, acknowledged that people have urged him to reconsider.

“You get encouragement and as the field has thinned a little bit, people want to see it widen again,” he said.

Thune’s Senate colleagues say he would make a strong White House candidate.

“He’s my man!” Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoIf Democrats want gun control, they must first concede defeat Conway: Republican concerns about gun reform 'all reconcilable' Five proposals Congress is eyeing after mass shootings MORE (R-Wyo.) piped up after he overheard a reporter asking Thune about his presidential ambitions.