Appearing on Fox News Sunday today, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint was pressed about his 2012 aspirations and gave a pretty clear answer on what he’s thinking right now.

Story from the National Journal:

On the same program, tea party champion Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina dismissed speculation that he might seek the GOP presidential nomination. “Right now, I have no plans to run for president,” said DeMint. Advisers to DeMint have noted that the South Carolina presidential primary has always been critical in determining the party’s eventual nominee and that he would at least consider the possibility of running. “DeMint’s popularity is the highest level it’s going to be at,” said GOP South Carolina political consultant Luke Byars who served as DeMint’s state director from 2005 to 2009 and remains an adviser. “All the options are on the table.”

I’d take this as a tacit denial since he did say that “right now” he has no plans. He might have plans a month or 2 months or 3 months from now. DeMint could be swayed into running, theoretically, if the Tea Party isn’t being represented by the candidates that do run. Again, that is just speculation but I can see many scenarios where DeMint’s plans might change.