(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.
Whatever, because neither Huckleberry nor ditzy Sarah have a prayer of getting elected. (Pun intended.)
He wants us all to know that he too is a hardcore religious nut job!
As a ex republican, I will NEVER vote for one again. They prey on the middle class and the poor. And they are not conservative, but just in the sense that they want everything for little ole ME.(themselves). Let us keep Pres. Obama for 8 years to straighten this mess out. He is doing a good job!
If Huckabee and Palin are the future of the GOP, they are sunk!
GOP: Evolve or die...
Huckabee is a conservitive nut job just like Palin. HYPOCRITES!
I just want to see a conservative candidate it is actually conservative. Not just a religious bigot with an agenda that has nothing to do with helping this country get back on its financial feet. Neither political party has the best interests of this country in a plan. Both parties manipulate the people throuth the media with loves the controversy to sell commercials. It's a joke and we're all paying the price. We need a smart candidate that can move job creation back into the United States, reduce government spending and protect our shores. That includes not spending our tax dollars protecting every other country in the world. Let Dubai, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Isreal pay for their own military. We have problems that need to be fixed here. Give me a politician that will at least try to accomplish real change.
This is really an interesting article. I'm sure Jeff Katz would have something to say about this! He's got this politcal talk show on shovio.com M-F @ 11am. You guys should check it out. Its great, he really puts thing into perspective.
Yes, the bible and politics merge. With him running, it makes it hard to seperate church from state doesn't it?
Hucabee, you've been rejected once by the voters so why don't you shut up. Palin will run again for Vice-President and assuming she isn't dragged down again by a fossil her team will win.
The GOP will continue to use Palin....Day and night.....If you know what I mean.....Sorry Huck.
I am a dem but I certainly have a lot more respect for Huckabee than Palin. Huckabee is a decent person and pretty intelligent to boot. He is far right, yes, but he campaigns well.
If this guy is the best the republicans can come up with the Democrats have no worries.
Embrace the Crazy!!
There is one thing that Huckabee and Palin have in common. They both lie when they tell people that the are Christians. Christians try to live by the teachings of Jesus.
These religious conservatives live the hate, revenge and judgement of the old testament. That is precisely what Jesus sought to change. The conservatives of his day killed him for teaching love of neighbor, peace, non judgement. Palin and Huckabee try to kill Jesus' teachings everyday when they worship their money and power and deny their neighbor what they have.
They hate abortion but love war. They say they are pro life but support the death penalty. They feel they are God's chosen people. It must be that God didn't create those of different faiths. They are as dangerous as the extremist Muslims or Jews. If you worship money and power, support them. If you truly try to live by Christ's teachings, open your eyes to what these people are really tying to do to America
The way things are going I suspect Ron Paul is going to be the rising star of this ticket.....we'll see.
And the jockeying for position to gain the GOP nomination in 2012 begins! It should be delicious. There will be blood. I am hoping Palin shows the hatred and vitriol she used during her VP campaign, and that the GOP competitors actually say what most everyone who has paid attention really thinks about her.
Huckabee just needs to be more whacko and irrational to appeal to GOP voters. Bush, Cheney, Rove, Palin, McCain, Limbaugh.... they appeal to "The Core."
Gomer Pyle is back at it again!!!
Shame, shame, shame!!!!
To those who think the current occupants of the White House are "thugs":
Don't forget that Huckabee was the one who, during the 2008 presidential campaign made a joke – a JOKE – about then-candidate Obama being assassinated.
Huckabee was getting ready to speak at an NRA conference; there was a loud bang noise offstage, and Huckabee joked that someone was gunning for Obama.
To make a sick joke like that says volumes about a person. For Huckabee to EVER try to claim the higher ground and present himself as somehow morally superior to ANYONE is a disgrace and the epitome of hypocrisy (and, unfortunately, all too common these days among so-called “Christians”).
Only a fool would be taken in by this huckster.
It's medication time, John!
It's astonishing! CNN Ticker appears to be absolutely fixated on Sarah Palin. It reports a knock on the ex-Governor of Alaska virtually on a daily basis. Do I detect a bias?
When it comes to Mike Huckabee you only need to know one thing:
When a group of presidential candidates were asked if they did not believe in the theory of evolution, Mike Huckabee raised his hand faster than anybody else.
The man will even deny his own intellect in order to pander to the far right. If he's not doing that, then he's just another example of conservative anti-intellectualism and academic stupidity.
In the 21st century, we can't allow people like Huckabee to EVER come into power. Personal freedom as we know it would be gone in a single term.
The Republican party gave us George the liar Bush, and Dick the kill everyone who is different that us Cheney.
Then they try to give us John one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel McCain and the worlds most stupid bimbo Sarah the moron Palin.
Now they are putting out of approval. The ultra conservative group. So there goes the separation of church and state.
Come on people "wake up" the Republican party is trying to drive their ultra conservative views down everyone's throat.
Huckabee is light-years better than Palin. Not that I'd vote for him but at least he lends a little stability to what seems more and more like a a party full of crack-pots.
Of course their is a double standard. Thats why Obama is where he is today, he got in via the affirmative action standard.