DeMint to Endorse Mitt Romney For President?

Posted: Oct 17, 2011 7:47 AM

UPDATE: DeMint spokesman says following story a fabrication.

Rumors are swirling that South Carolina Senator and staunch conservative Jim DeMint may endorse Mitt Romney for President. From Roll Call:

Mitt Romney is the favorite to receive Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) much-sought-after endorsement in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to knowledgeable GOP sources.

DeMint, who endorsed the former Massachusetts governor in 2008, made clear in an interview late last week that he has made no decisions on whom he will support in the 2012 primary. But Republican operatives familiar with the DeMint-Romney relationship and privy to the conservative Senator's private assessment of the GOP field believe Romney is the most likely candidate to receive the backing of the tea party favorite.

"Jim is far more likely to endorse Mitt than anyone else currently in the race," a Republican with South Carolina ties said. "Jim is a business guy and that's his background. He's not really the good ol' boy conservative type. So Mitt in a lot of ways is a more comfortable fit for him."

An endorsement to Romney from DeMint would be significant considering DeMint is a tea party favorite with a much more conservative record than Romney on most issues and constistently comes in as one of the most conservative Senators year after year. But, we shouldn't jump to any conclusions just yet.

DeMint told Roll Call on Thursday that he and Romney occasionally trade emails, but he said they haven't talked in some time. South Carolina's junior Senator said he thinks highly of many of the candidates in the race and that the Palmetto State primary remains wide open. That primary is set for Jan. 21, presumably giving DeMint another three months to make his decision.