No surprise here. DeMint is always in the discussion for the Republican nomination:
South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, a Tea Party favorite, is heading to Iowa to deliver a speech in March — a move that is fueling speculation that DeMint is considering a White House run, even as he publicly denies interest.
DeMint will speak at a forum hosted by Iowa Rep. Steve King in Des Moines on March 26, according to sources close to DeMint. News of the appearance was first reported byThe Iowa Republican.
DeMint’s travels to Iowa are a notable contrast to his public positioning. Asked Wednesday if he is going to run for the presidential nomination, DeMint told CNN flatly “no, I’m not” yesterday in an interview with Wolf Blitzer. That’s hardly a Shermanesque denial, though, and leaves him open to change his mind at a later date.
According to sources briefed on the event, the forum will be for potential 2012 contenders but DeMint will not be one of them. Instead, DeMint was asked to deliver an address on the conservative agenda in the Senate and looking ahead to the presidential race.
Whether he runs or not, there’s no doubt that DeMint wants to have an impact on the Republican 2012 primary – even as it is unclear whether he’ll run himself.
One of DeMint’s advisers pointed out to Hotline On Call that DeMint hasn’t completely shut the door on a White House run, despite the CNN remark. And another source close to him told CNN on Thursday that they put the odds of DeMint running at five percent.