Candidates woo DeMint as he stays on sidelines

By JIM DAVENPORT | January 12, 2012 | 2:42 AM EST

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint is someone nearly every presidential candidate is trying to get on his team.

But the Republican, who is a dean of the tea party movement, isn't budging.

DeMint says he'll stay on the sidelines in South Carolina's presidential primary — and focus on helping Republicans win back the Senate.

Still, for all of DeMint's efforts not to get dragged into the presidential race, he's already waded into it, telling conservative radio host Mark Levin this week that he thinks Mitt Romney is going to win in South Carolina.