(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.
Awww poor Hukabee – he is not getting as much love as Sarah. Maybe if he stopped playing that stupid guitar. singing with the band, and telling jokes on his TV show, people would begin to take him seriously, and not view him as a Rush Limbaugh type entertainer
No THINKING adult can possibly take Sarah Palin seriously. She proved her self totally inept when running as the Vice Predidential candidate. She was unable to answer simple questions, could not give ONE example of the Amendments to the Constitution or even what she reads. She is like any Hollywood celebrity, Attractive, talkative and not very bright. Unfortunately the Repubs will probably elect her to something before they find out their mistake.It could prove to be very expensive.
if the GOP wants to get in on the battle in 2012......he should be listened to.
Forget Palin..........if not the Dem's continue in 2012.
HI My name is Johnny Cash. No, wait a sec, my name is Mike Huckabee, and I bought this shirt that looks just like Johnny's.
HUck, if you want to be treated like a serious politicial leader who wants to lead this country, lose the guitar and stop acting like a kid rocker.
.."I'm not nearly as attractive.."
Ahh but neither is she. You know her Miss Amercia days never worked out. I guess she is soaking up as much 15 minutes as this evil, divise, selfish, ingnorant, hate-inspiring woman can.
Why Mike? Why are you upset, this is what the GOP is sir. Fight or go home. Ms Sarah gets special treatment, she demands it.
in new york district 23 in last weeks elections the democratic candidate mr owens told the voters he intends to vote for the public option . well owens and the democarts won bye 5 points a seat held bye the republicans since 1850 . whqat does that tell ya it shows the repubs are in a whole lot of trouble and they will be troubced in the midterms . come on the gop held the seat for over 150 years and lost it . if huckabee an palin an romney are the best they have got the republican party of no are toast.
Both Sarah and her husband Todd quit their jobs and are pandering for money. What responsible people would quit their job when they have young children to support especially having a child with a severe disability that requires parental care around the clock. People are looking for jobs and aren't looking to support a grown able man who just ups and quits. Todd obviously had no plans of staying at home with the children while his wife is traveling. Something is very wrong with this family who claim "family values".
You know, Huckabee,
I really could find it in me to vote for you. What is stopping me is your nonsensical Christian nonsense. The way your party behaves as Jesus' chosen while doing nothing to take care of others is nauseating.
You may be serious but you are, in many ways, no different from Sarah Palin.
come on, Huckabee–do not start negative talk against SP or I will not support you. You have never been sliced and diced by the media, liberals, and Hollywood like Sara. palin backers are only trying to counteract the viciousness of the liberals and the press........
There is no viable republican candidate to run for President. John McCain was the best you bums had to offer. Time to find some new blood GOP or disseminate from the spotlight.
GOP cat fight. They're already trashing each other for 2012. It doesn't get any juicier than this!
I can't take him seriously with those shades on. Who's he supposed to be? Elvis?
Chuck Norris would make a good secretary of state for the Huckster. Why not Dick Armey for health and human services?
I'm a lifelong Republican. The only time I ever voted Democrat was for Edwin W. Edwards. My first vote was for Dwight D. Eisenhower. Before I vote for a Huckabee I would vote for the present skank in the White House the go vomit.
As much as I like Huckabee I would not vote for him. What we need in the White House and Congress is men and women who actually listens to the people that put them there. It is going to take both the Democrats and Republican partys to convince the Independents that we should vote for them. As I can attest to the fact that more and more voters are going over to the Independents. I was a Democrat all my life until they decided to spend , spend and spend. When you count everyone who has no employent the figure goes from 10% to 17%. Where are the jobs that were promised? Where is the relief for citizens who are losing their homes? Wall Street and the Big Banks have recovered very nicely but what about the common person?
Anyone who would consider voting for a guy [Huckabee] who denies evolution and believes in the literal biblical story of the creation of the world and universe, and thus, thinks the world is only about 6000 years old, needs their head examined....
Anyone who would consider voting for a guy [Mittens Romney] who believes what a con artist purportedly read on non-existent tablets that no one else could see or read, also needs their head examined...
Just what we need, a religious fanatic.
He's right about Palin and pressure...has she even given ONE major interview in the past year? Has she reached out to anyone other than her drooling fan base? If she thinks her ghost-written book and a sit-down with Oprah and the Fox Noise contingent (who probably already has the list of what NOT to ask) will establish her as an intelligent, credible candidate, she is mistaken. She and her fan base will blame the evil media for any missteps she takes, and they will also blame everyone but her for anything stupid she says. And Sarah dear, please "stop makin' things up" to suit whatever issue it is you decide to comment on this week.
What would CNN do without Sara Palin??
Obama is bankrupting the country. Look into that sometime..
Put the three of them (Romney, the Huckster, Miss Wasila '82) together and you could shoot a Three Stooges remake.
Palin is the epitome of "negative fluff." She opens her dumb mouth and words fly out but she has no clue what's she's talking about.
Gooooolllllyyyyy Gomer Pyle, you want us to take you seriously? Stop acting like an undereducated trailer trash guy. I see you are gaining weight again. OK, you fit back into the mold: Just another fat, wealthy, angry, bitter, hate mongering Southern white male, with fake Southern manners. Please Republicans, give us as your Presidential/V-P candidates in 2010, Huckabee-Cheney, Huckabee-Palin, Huckabee-Romney, Huckabee-Barbour (my favorite – two Gomer Pyle act-a-likes), Huckabee-Anyone, Anyone-Huckabee. Any such combination will give us President Obama through 2012.
Anyone wold be better than Palin.....but the GOP has no one to compete with Obama. That is becaue they are all far-right extremists, and none are old-fashioned Republicans....conservative, but willing to be non-partisan.
As a VP candidate all the other GOP'ers were supporting her, now those same people Want the same job and Palin won't last in a real debate against her own party members who chasing the same job. All of her winks and cute terms won't hack it in a republican debate. My guess is that she might not even try, even she is not that dumb.