(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 don't like Huckabee and support BO.
However, you guys that actually believe science over God, your creator, are the real looney tunes. I suggest you go back over that book for real answers and TRUTH. Man's so called "wisdom" is nothing more than an illusion of our own pride and arrogance. How dare you place doubt in your heart and turn away from Him. Your scientists are full of nothing but false theory. I pray you ALL find yourselves. How disrespectful you sound, and oblivious to that fact as well.
Huckabee is a good guy. He makes Palin look liike an idiot.
Wait a minute.....Palin "IS" an idi............never mind..
I agree with Mike. Palin is every bit the ignoramus he is and should be treated accordingly. It is grossly unfair to view them differently.
Quick, name one republican policy that has helped the middle class or the poor. Have a nice day!
Huckabee is right (so to speak) in this respect: Palin is just as much a wingnut as he is. I would love to see a Huckabee/Palin ticket in 2012–a sure, Congress-enlarging victory for the Dems!
Looks like the same ol lineup, to me.
Mr. Huckabee, the difference between you and Sarah is that she is HOT and you are NOT.
She will be well into her forties by 2012 and those who voted for her HOTness will NOTness.
Both Palin and Huck are awful people and shouldn't even be elected dog catcher.
I think that huck would be a good president and i think he will be the one that runs and it don;t matter who he runs against he will be the next president. and i will back him all the way.
the GOP has the choice between a dim wit and a minister? slim pickins!
Is there an award for the most bizarre, off-the-wall choice of phrase when selecting text for a hyperlink?
What kills me (THIS time) is the author/editor’s choice of words for a hyperlink from the following phrase:
“. . . including some in politically important Iowa.”
“including some”, perhaps, and “politically important Iowa” would be MUCH better (for the link in question), but “some in politically”? Where the hell does that division come from? Bizarre.
didnt vote for him before and wont vote for him now. what a whiner.
"How can you convince anyone to not support Palin if all you use are arguments straight out of the 2nd grade?"
Like the way the GOP does to Obama? Death Panels anyone?
The scary thing after reading all this is how stupid you all sound. Enough with all this hate and ignorance. Who are you to talk!
All of these people Stand for Something. They are willing to speak out on issues, and defend our nation. They are offering solutions, and to the best of their ability identifying areas in our republic that need correcting.
What you need to decide is what you believe is critical to the success of this country, then stand up and support the person who represents those ideals. We have too many critics. What is needed are patriots!
I voted for Huckabee in the primary last time and would vote for him in the general election. Even Palin would be better than the clown we have now....
I would find it very hard to vote for an individual who has to swear to uphold the constitution when he believes (and has stated) that the constitution needs to be changed to reflect the laws of his god. Not everyone believes in the Bible.
I don't agree on many issues with Huckabee, but I've always thought he is a decent guy. He has always been respectful of those with opposing views and has a sense of humor.
Mike Huckabee is throwing his hat into the ring of the presidential sweepstakes and releasing a book. That is the story. However, two innocuous quotes in a three page interview create the CNN headline (making a non-story, a home page story) and generate dozens of anti-Palin comments without probing into the issue it calls out, only rehashing old quotes to fill space. Political "trash talking" , if you can really call this that, is not news. CNN knows that if you put "Palin" in a headline, you will get hits. Bravo to CNN for knowing the importance of November sweeps and the marks that took the bait and demonstrated that CNN does have an agenda.
"Huckabee is so honest and pleasant, unlike that gang of thugs currently occupying the White House. I will be so great to replace that lying thug that ACORN stole the election for in 2008, I will vote most anyone. Obama, one and done."
Ah, those sour grapes! LOL!!
Huckabee is the only one that shows integrity and intelligence a very rare combination for the Republican Party. Palin is pretty but it is only skin deep, so is her IQ. Romney still has that deer in the headlights look and that is scary. Now if someone would just superglue Rush Limbaughs' and Glen Becks mouths shut we could have an honest, intelligent debate, another rare Republican combination.
Sarah Palin will be the first woman president of the United States. If the American people can elect a Marxist Kenyan then surely they can elect a true American and Sarah Palin. I guess it will be too bad for the jealous feminist's. As for old Huck...the way he governed just goes to show a Rino can actually play a guitar
I love the infighting of the GOP presidential aspirants. May they continue to keep this going for a long time.
Huckabee is expecting too much if he thinks the right wing extremists in his party can judge the candidates with any degree of intelligence or objectivity.
Palin/Huckabee 2012. Go team. Take back our country.
I live in Iowa where he won ... the motto was, "Religion still matters. Vote Huckabee". This guy would be worse than George W. Bush in office....way to far right for my comfort.
He has no place in politics - neither does religion. He's bigot.
Hopefully there will arise a 'new' face for the Republican nomination. Sarah Palin is certainly not presidential material and Huckabee is supported by a relatively small cult of the religious right. He scares the heck out of Democrats and Independents such as myself.