(CNN) – There's a likely GOP 2012 presidential candidate who is a former governor, darling of the party's conservative base, and the leader of nearly every early presidential poll.
And his name is not Sarah Palin.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, whose upstart presidential campaign toppled Mitt Romney in Iowa and nearly brought down John McCain in South Carolina last year, wants people to know he's every bit as serious as other potential presidential aspirants, and suggested there's a double standard when it comes to how some in his party treat him and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
"Some of the people who had excoriated me and really been very dismissive of me for views that I had taken, and labeled me anything from a populist to an ignoramus - the same people have been very defensive [of] and laudatory to Sarah Palin," Huckabee told Politico in an article published Monday.
I'm a very serious person," he also said. "I may not be dour, but I'm serious."
The former two-term Arkansas governor has expressed criticism of Palin before, suggesting her abrupt resignation of the Alaska governorship may suggest she's not ready to handle the pressures of a hardscrabble presidential primary campaign.
"If she's looking to be a national political figure, it's not going to get easier," he said in July. "In a primary this is going to be an issue she'll have to face. Will she be able to withstand the pressure?"
In many respects, Huckabee should be considered the early favorite in what already appears to be a crowded field of 2012 Republican contenders. He consistently leads Palin and his old rival Romney in presidential polls and has maintained a legion of faithful followers. He's also out with a new book this month and a concurrent book tour through some of the country's most conservative townships - including some in politically important Iowa.
Huckabee was also the winner of a recent Values Voter Summit straw poll, grabbing nearly 29 percent of the vote in a crowded field that, in addition to Palin and Romney, included Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
But Huckabee's fundraising pales in comparison to Romney's and Palin's, and it's the former Republican vice presidential candidate who has been dubbed the party's rock star, and whose upcoming book tour will make national headlines - a fact Huckabee brushed off with his trademark humor.
"I'm glad she's getting the props - I know I'm not nearly as attractive," he said.
By 2012 it won't matter who the Republican Candidate is.. Given the mess the Demoncrats have made in less than a year, it will be nothing short of amazing if the party survives 2010..
Essentially, the GOP is still in a Catch 22 proposition. By trying to appeal to core belief conservatives, they narrow their popularity. If they "enlarge the tent," they stand to lose essential core values. This augments the ability for a new political party to gain a foothold in the American political scene. Bush's tenure in office effectively decreased the chance for a religious candidate or one who holds Biblical beliefs to appeal to a wide spectrum of the American electorate. The shifting demographics of our country now probably suggest that a candidate who has an "open-ended" value lexicon and pragmatic inclinations and skills would probably succeed in capturing the Presidency.
Why are Liberals called "The Left?" Because nothing they do or say is Right!
I am would vote for Mike today, I am a Democrat that would jump the fence right now. I would have done this if he was the man and not McCain and Palin. Simple decisson very simple.
That's right, we don't need a Fox entertainer, and I see Romney getting upset about Palin via his Mormon standards..I luv this, keep battling you Republicans and the Democrats will really put it to U
The juvenile politicians...
ACORN stole the election? How so? All they did was register people...can you tell me how many inaccurately registered voters actually cast a ballot? Didn't think so, because there weren't any. People have to show ID at a polling place that matches what is on the books. ACORN did not steal anything.
And I suppose you were absolutely fine with George Bush stealing the 2000 election via his daddy's Supreme Court? Bush, who should have been one and done, but who managed to steal another one in 2004, thus ensuring debt, chaos in the world, and the collapse of the banking system. Yeah, that was great.
Gimme a break. It's Palin from day One.
That's all we need, another born again nut case running the county into the ground all over again.
I must say, those who say Huckabee hasn't had a honest hard days work is stupid. Also Yes we have freedom of religion. However there is nowhere in the constitution that says separation of church and state, and even if it did, Democrats and Republicans threw the constitution out the window years ago, starting with the republican party. So in my mind when a republican complains about the dems tearing up the constitution, they need only to look in the mirror.
One final thought. In my Opinion, and again Just an opinion. We should separate all liberals and all conservatives. And make them live that lifestyle. Split half the country. that way people can quit complaining, but then again they will find something else to complain about.
If I have to choose between Huckabee and Palin, I choose Huckabee in a heartbeat. He might be a Christian which might scare people w/ the issues of church and state, but I think he can discuss issues intelligently, don't lose temper easily, and not extreme. As long as they are moderated in tone, I am okay w/ it. However, I am a Democrat, so I don't get to choose the Republican standard bearer.
Huckabee might be a whiner here but at least he finished the job he was elected to do.
I have two words for Palin AND Huck –
And CNN, stop giving these clowns all this attention. Aren't there enough people in the universe you can give some free publicity too??
Just watch these family values deeply religious God fearing repugs knife each other in the back and slice their throats. Republican's are the sorriest bunch of hypocrites that ever crawled out from under a rock. All I say is keep turning in tighter and tighter little right turns and all us normal voters will keep electing responsible adults.
I like Huckabee, he is bright and knows politics. Palin is a quitter and the drama she brings to the party is not what is needed to topple Obama.
I believe Huckabee would make a great President. But he just too good to be one. He is very well educated, he looks like he is a very good man, which probably he is. He is religious. I'll vote for him if he runs, even though I don't vote.
Yopur headline and article make it sound like Huckabee is critcizing Palin. In fact, he is complaining about some people who criticize him in the same areas they protect Palin. Of course, his old quote from the days following Palin's resignation as governor (which resignation was due to the cost to Alaska's taxpayers for Palin's legal defense against liberal libel) is totally irrelevant to his recent complaint about other people. Whenm you fail to report real news and deny real news, you start making up news! So sad.
we take you seriously! seriously unqualified to be President.
I'd vote for Huckabee . . . I hope he runs!
All i seems to hear these days from the Republicans is who will better candidate in 2012 but what about now in 2009 what about coming together and stand behind this President at least for the good of the country now! We need the Gop to stand up now for Health Care Reform Now sure its not perfect but it will help somebody along the way. I dont give a care who runs against President Obama in 2012, we need to come together now for America!
Huckabee is not a viable candidate. He is just another non-credible FOX entertainer with his own show, his ultra-conservative books, and his shove-down-your-throat "religion".
Republicans have no serious candidates, no believable leadership, and still no solutions for any issue facing America.
With a 17% approval rating among all Americans, they won't be winning any seats in any office. Americans are sick of their negativity, obstructionism in Congress, and refusal to denounce their lunatic tea bag racists. They have betrayed the People who elected them.
Someone asked if we couldn't say something nice about Sarah Palin.....well, I can......the clothes she wore during the campaign were beautiful.And.......and.........and...that's it.
Palin and Huckabee are irrelevant, they are both too specialized. It's going to be a showdown between the guy that looks like the Fonze, and the guy that looks like Lou Diamond Phillips.
And one of them will go up against Obama.
Huckabee's not a bad guy. He's at least decent, but Sarah Palin is utterly indecent. She's the queen of trailer trash values. Let them fight it out. My preference is that Palin wins because she'll be so much easier for the decent people to defeat and reelect President Obama in 2012. If she's disappointed about that that vacant bus left up there in the wilderness of Alaska by Chris Matthews remains readily available to her and hy entire dysfunctional, trailer trash family.
I'm amazed at the ignornce of many people here. The people who support Mike or Palin must be either prodigiously dim or excessively selfish. They really need to educate themselves with history and theology before claiming themselves conservatives.