(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.
Huckabee started taking catty, cheap shots at Palin right after the 2008 Campaign was over, and has never stopped. If there is any negativity towards him coming from the Pro-Palin wing of the Repub Party, it's because her supporters see him as a very shallow, two-faced, fair-weathered friend. Palin has never said one unkind word against Huckabee, so I am assume he is just another insecure male politician who feels threatened by her.
I would LOVE Mike Huckabee to run. He's the one guy the left still hasn't tried to excoriate. He's a great guy, with solid conservative principles and fiscal responsibility. He's for the fair tax, and would set out to abolish the IRS in favor of a more sane system. Wolf Blitzer's response to that of "What about all those people who work for the IRS?" was a riot. And Mike's retort was sobering, "The government's first duty should not be to see how many people it can employ." bingo. Go Mike. I <3 Huckabee
I'd really like to know what presidential poll is Palin leading in , awwww that's down right funny , I geuss she'll lead in your polls only CNN ,becuse your the only fools that would actually keep printing stories about this quitter, idiot and devisive racist . one thing is for sure AMERICANS with real life common sense knows this woman would be nowhere quailfied to run as POTUS, and when she does her Ophra interview you'll see just what i'm talking about but you'll probably print a story saying how great she was .......***beepin idiots.
It would be so hard to call him President Huckabee, it would be like a big joke, I think he would make a better comedian!
When does the Taliban 2016 election campaign begin?? Who are the rising stars for that??
Go Huckleberry! Tell everyone that the earth is 6000 years old, man walked with dinosaurs, and evolution is a myth. You will certainly get the tea bagging birther group in your camp (aka "conservatives") but the rest of the electorate will laugh in your face as you win 1, maybe 2 states in the general election. Even some blood red states would not go for the new American Taliban. To make things even easier, select the Alaska dimwit as your VP candidate
Too far right, too Christian, too radical.
gop will loose again ,,,,, all hat....
Huck is a true American values patriot.... I saw him at a debate in Fort Lauderdale 2 years ago, and he won hands down against the other candidates... he has the common sense and family values we need in a leader, someone who knows and believes in the American work ethic, innovation, and honesty, someone that is incorruptible. Go MIKE Huckabee...
Does not believe in evolution, is too radical, too far right and too Christian to be president.
The Republicans have many good candidates for 2012, what does the Democrats have is a loser of a President. A definite Republican win for President in 2012.
Huckabee is the only republican could-be candidate that makes me nervous. The others are pantomine villians that will lose every contest they enter (or quit half way through, if you like). Huckabee has charm and a strong work ethic, so if he ran in 2012, democrats would be rightly worried. I'm sure they're praying for Palin to win the nomination though! I'd bet they're trying their best to keep Palin talking!
There is only one true Republican left his name is Ron Paul, Mike maybe you read and listen to what he is saying, you might learn that this country is a republic with a constitution.
I couldn't agree more that the criminal Palin gets a pass from the Republican press on every boneheaded self-serving stunt she pulls - and EVERYTHING she pulls is boneheaded and self-serving - but aside from the fact I wouldn't want Huckabee or ANY living Republican in the White House, isn't it quite unseemly that a person seeking the Presidency has his own worldwide bully pulpit on Rupert Murdoch's bastion of "fair and balanced" yellow journalism, the cable network Fox "News"? Of course, everything Fox "News" does is a disgusting caricature of responsible, objective news reporting, but this is embarrassing even by Fox's in-the-gutter standards.
I agree. I'm an admirer of Sarah Palin and there's no doubt she would be a much better president than Obama. However, if she could not handle being governor of Alaska, there's no reason why she should be considered for anything higher. And that ridiculous excuse she gave about not wanting to be a lame duck was a laughable insult to everyone's intelligence. Stick with fishing Sarah.
The Dems would love to see Gomer Pyle run...another win for President Obama, by a bigger landslide!
I wouldn't vote for Huckabee—but at least he seems to be a relatively normal, sane individual. I would feel better with him running the country much more than Bush or Palin or Cheney.
So, even if I disagree with his politics, at least he's not an absolute lunatic.
sarah palin is NOT interested in a national political career... she has found a gold mine in having books written for her, and doing speaking engagements.. there is ZERO benefit for her in getting involved in the mud-slinging that is a national campaign.. i don't know why people insist on discussing her as if she has national political aspirations.. the reason she quit the alaska governorship is because she realized it is a dead end job for her...
Wow...... the GOPers continue to attack each other....... what else is new?
The reason my husband and I, are no longer Republicans is because of the vile politics of the Republican party.
What have the Republicans done for America? Nothing. The Republicans have been against every single social program for America!
Social Security – GOP was against it, saying it was socialism.
America is not stupid, Huckabee, Palin, Romney (Evangelicals wont vote for him), wont get our vote, we know who the GOP is for, its not for We the People!
I'm voting "NoExtremists in 2012" ... guess that leaves our the entirety of the Republican Party. DRATZ!
Sign me up to be on Sarah Palin's Death Panel. I'll give her the boot vote quicker than you can say A-M-B-I-S-O-L!
Sorry– but Huckabee is too far to the right for me. And Palin is just too stupid.
SURELY the Republican party can find a better candidate than either of these two!
this is a GREAT example of stupidity on the right. Here you've got a guy who believes the world is about 10,000 years old (doesn't believe in evolution) and he's topping polls.
The right has no care for science/logic/reason/history or anything of the sort. Thats why they will not survive as a party past the beginning of the 21st century.
Their logic is all blind: whether it be from hate,ignorance or religion.
...now there's a tough game to play if you're a GOP watcher.
Sarah is an unpleasant & outwardly crazy loonie. Mike seems like kind of a sweet guy (& a decent bass player), but when you listen to what he's saying, he's equally crazy. He's right, he should be getting as much press for his loonieness as Sarah.
God help us if this religious zealot gets into higher office. If so, I and my family will be moving out of the country for a while.