Washington (CNN) - Rob Portman isn't shutting any doors to a potential 2016 run for the White House.
But the Republican senator from Ohio Wednesday seemed to down play any talk that he's actively considering a bid for his party's nomination.
"What I did say though in that article when pressed about 2016 was I'm going to wait and see who runs," Portman told CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper, anchor of "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
The article Portman was referencing was a much talked about write by the Washington Post's Robert Costa, in which the senator said he wasn't "particularly eager to do it myself" but added that "if nobody running is able to win and willing to address these issues, then I might have a change of heart."
Portman told Tapper that instead of running for the White House, he's thinking about running for re-election to the Senate in 2016, adding that "I'd be honored to get the opportunity to do that again, for another six years. There's a lot to be done and I'm eager to do it. I think you know our country's in trouble and I think I can make a difference here in the United States Senate."
But Portman sounded very much like a presidential candidate when he told Tapper that "I feel very strongly that our country is headed in the wrong direction and I feel just as strongly that we can be heading in the right direction pretty quickly, and that's a matter of new leadership but also new policies."
Portman served a dozen years in the House of Representatives before leaving in 2005 to serve as U.S. trade representative and then budget director under President George W. Bush. He won election to the Senate in 2010.
He spoke with CNN a day after Cleveland was picked by the Republican National Committee's Site Selection Committee as its choice to host the 2016 Republican convention.
Portman, who advocated for Cleveland, said "the local organizing committee did a terrific job showing them (the RNC's Site Selection Committee) the best of Cleveland," adding that "it's good for us to be in the heartland. It's good for us to be in a big, diverse city."
"Cleveland's on the upswing just like the Republican Party needs to be on the upswing," Portman added. "I think it makes it a more inclusive convention almost by location. So I think its really great for Cleveland, great for Ohio, but I also think it was the right choice for the Republican Party.
Portman was a strong contender for the 2012 GOP vice presidential nomination, before Mitt Romney finally landed on Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate.
Last year Portman made headlines by announcing his support for same-sex marriage. In an interview with CNN, he said that he changed his mind on the issue after his son told his parents he was gay.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report