(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.
I would love to be a values voter... Meaning: providing Health Insurance to all people in USA because it is what Jesus would do for all of our people.....How about that Republicans and you to Joe Liebermann.....the filibuster type Democracy guy.. with his wife being a former..... Health care Lobbyist.. Value voters........eh?
Barring all of the liberal babble, I'm purely excited at the amount of strong candidates that are rising up from the ashes to destroy the DNC next year, and in 2012. It is going to be like 'shock and awe' all over again. ha.
Huckabee is against fire, and all other forms of progress.
Sorry, just too funny....Extra !! Extra !! Read all about it....This just in Sarah Palin will run in 2012 with Joe the plumber as her VP and has offered the Secretary of Sate position to Huckabee.
Huckabee said No due to ethical reasons. And believed Palin to be A facist.
If Palin and Huck both run it will split the crackpot vote and the GOP will end up with another McCain. Most likely Mitt.
Huckabee is the same moron that thinks the constitution should be based on the bible. He's a freak and a cultist. He's right about Sarah though, as they always say: it takes one to know one!
I'm a life-long Republican turned Democrat in 2008, and I certainly agree that Huckabee is a serious guy. Palin's an idiot and it's a joke to say she is somehow qualified to be president. Huckabee is lightyears ahead of Palin in the "qualified" department.
I thought Mike Huckabee was good hearted man even though I don't agree with his ideology but during the RNC he conducted himself in a disgusting manner and later on when he made the "joke" about Obama ducking because he heard a gun shot, I saw his true colors.
Leftists like to have an evolution discussion every time Huckabee's name comes up. Living things on earth do evolve that is fact.
Did man evolve from pond sludge??? Well that is just one theory now isn't it? How did the fist life start anyway? Science have an answer? Didn't think so.
Science is not exact, today’s certainties will be discredited tomorrow.
But there is also a place for faith in well rounded humans, and science cannot replace it. This is what the ultra left is missing...Faith!
As a former conservative turned staunch liberal democrat I would much rather see the democrats face Sarah Palin than ol' Huck. At least Huck completed two terms as governor.
We need the most stable women the GOP has to offer.
Put 'em together and i'll vote.
This is the only way to put an end to Palin's vapid demagoguery - let the Republicans have at her. Democrats should stand back and stay out of it.
Ron Paul 2012
Huckabee is the reason we ended up McCain as the Republican Candidate. His underhanded deal with McCain on Super Tuesday alond with the lies that McCain and Crist posted in Florida gave us a choice between a radical democrat and a moderate democrat last time. His religous bigotry should keep him off and stage let alone the national stage.
"He makes no apologies for his faith. Also, he does not impose his faith on others."
Really? He doesn't impose his faith on others? Then what was all that stuff last year about how it would be easier to change the Constitution so it matches the Bible rather than the other way around?
For all I hear about conservatives/members of the GOP being fear mongering racist. I seem to see a lot more people taking blows below the belt on the left side of this forum. Before ranting about how we are not willing to work together it might be nice if your arguments were based on facts and political issues. Not based on a persons weight, and as a conservative who has life long friends from Asia, Europe,and the Middle East I highly resent being referred to as a racist simply for being conservative. I know just as many bigots on the right and the left. Both sides of the political spectrum have a fringe. Same goes for any conservative comments that follow the meaningless attack mold.
The GOP circular firing squad is heating up. Pass the popcorn!
Wow. If anyone wants attention these days, bring Sarah Palin into the conversation.
All you Palin haters have accomplished is to keep her a national figure and incite a supportive backlash against you. And it seems neither side of this I hate/love Sarah seems to put very much thought into the discussion. The comments are almost always just putdowns. How can you convince anyone to not support Palin if all you use are arguments straight out of the 2nd grade?
I like his stance that the Earth is only six thousand years old. If he'd just take a stand against this heliocentricity nonsense that's going around, he'd be the ideal GOP candidate.
Huckabee doesn't get it. The powers that be in the Republican party don't want someone like him, who is smart and can make his own decisions, to be elected. They like to get clueless people elected (George W., Sarah Palin), so that they can tell them what to do.
I would really like both of them to team up in 2012.. It would be oh so sweet to see them both go down in defeat.
I had the opportunity to meet Mike Huckabee last week and it confirmed everything I previously believed about him. He is a gracious, kind, and compassionate man. We would be lucky to have someone like him in the White House. He is a man of principle and character. If John McCain had not eeked out a slim victory in South Carolina, Mike Huckabee might well have been the Republican nominee. He is conservative, but not a radical. I believe in 2012 there will be legions of Americans who would love to give Mike Huckabee a chance to clean up the mess in Washington! I am one of them.
I can see in my crystal ball that Sarah Palin going to mess it up for Huckabee in 2012. I'll vote for Huckabee anytime, but I wish Palin just stay out of way.
If he's all the GOP has for 2012, they are even worse off than I thought.