(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.
It's going to be Sarah Palin/Liz Cheney in 2012.....
You have become a TV personality and not a serious candidate.....
Regardless, Obama is ONE and DONE.
Yeah, there is a resemblance to Gomer Pyle, but the TV actor has more hipness and credibility than Huckabee. :-)
Why does CNN always, I mean always write negative things about Sara Palin, come on stop that. I don't think you are fair and balanced?
Knowing HGovernor Huckabee, I do not believe he is down on Palin, but you are.
I used to like CNN but not now.
Huckabee is only a moderate compared to full-blown crazy like Sarah Palin.
Did you know Huckabee said he wanted to put the Ten Commandments into the Constitution? That includes "thou shalt have no other God before me." Goodbye Buddhists, Hindus, secularists, and freedom of religion.
repugnants...evangelicals..conservatives..the cancer and the scum....good for nothing
who is paying the body guards?....the congregation?
well so much for a Huckabee/Palin ticket in 2012 I guess.
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Huckabee would be more credible if he wasn't on Fox news.
If he ever had a chance he killed it with his show.
I hope he does run and take Palin as his vice president so Obama will win by a huge margin.
Republicans have a long hard climb to the top.
I was a republican and switched because that party is nuts
I'm a Democrat, and I'd like to see Ole Huck run. He fits his party description better than the fraud Romney, and the quitter Palin.
It will be a close election if Obama and Huckabee go against each other. :D Go for it Huckabee.
If Huckabee had gotten out when he knew he couldn't win, we would now have Romney who knows how to run a corporation and has political savvy. We wouldn't be in the mess Obama has put us in now. I think he and McCain cut a deal the reason he stayed in the race and Romney knew it. There was no way McCain could win, although I admire his service to his country, he is a democrat wearing a republican hat. Republicans stayed home because they couldn't vote for either McCain or Obama. As for the 'hickernut' Huckabee, give me a break....just take your guitar and fade away.
Good, now we can get a repub ticket that stands a chance of winning!
THE CAPTION is hilarious, people, read it. But anyway these 2 battling over the right wing base support is quite funny. That would be like us liberal folk listening to Ralph Nadar and Jane Fonda duking it out to get the Greenpeace vote... because that was somehow relevant to the rest of the country.... righhhht. Has anyone noticed how absurd the rightwing has become? In some ways I have to thank GWB. Not only did he smirk his way thru his 8 years of entitlement, he screwed up so badly and showed so much disdain for the country he might have destroyed his own party. Who could trust that BS again?
I really disagree with Huckabee and I do not think its time for the pendulum to swing into the red. But I'd take him over any other GOP clown, currently out there.
If only the GOP realizes that none of their potential candidates have views consistent with today's times. They believe that this ultra right group of uneducated gun totiing wing nuts is the future of the country. Let's pray they never set foot in the WH.
Huckabee is correct. CNN and other news outlets follow everything Palin does to the point of ad nauseam.
However, the only clear choice in 2012 is Obama/Biden.
Sorry, no more right wing "family values" people in the White House...PLEASE. At least get logical problem solvers like Obama. The hypocritical Repubs brought the nation to it's knees with their "family values" for the last 8 years. Enough is enough.
huckleberry hound or the ice princess. Either one will be short work for President Obama. So long as the gop continues to stand for nothing and foster extremists they will remain a sideline opposition, which is very very good for the United States as we recover from their last reign of terror.
Sorry, Mike. You're every bit as bad for this country as Sarah Palin.
So he's using FOX NEWS has his soap box to promote his campaign? And if CNN had a candidate on its payroll the Rightwing would scream to the heavens in complaint!
Personally I'm all for Palin being the GOP choice – that'll be a certain loss for that party which has degenerated into the party of extemist loons. How could anyone seriously consider Sarah Palin qualified for the office of POTUS? Then again how could anyone seriously consider Bush 2? The dope child whose own parents expressed the sentiment? That anyone takes this party seriously anymore, that people still buy into seriously flawed agenda and disingenuous spin based on fear and ignorance designed to get those who feel disinfranchised to act out AGAINST there own best interest. Stupidity in America is rampant and we are destroying ourselves with it.
"Palin/Huckabee 2012. Go team. Take back our country."
I thought this was a democracy, not a theocracy.
"homocrats" – interesting word dray, guess it shows your true colours.
And How on earth was it that "ACORN stole the election in 2008"?
Palin quit what is probably the easiest job in any state in America. Governor of Alaska. And she quit because she stated on camera 'I can no longer handle the intense scrutiny and pressure of this job'.
Now, tell me how on Earth will she ever be able to do a job that is considered the MOST stressful job on the planet – the President of the United States.
She's a quitter plain and simple!!!!
Really? Your a serious person Hucky?
Gee, it's funny how you only get serious whenever it's convenient for YOU Mike. I mean you're getting all bent out of shape over the trashy gossip being spewed at YOU by your own party!!!
Don't hate the players Mike, hate the game. Your teammates are nothing but "back stabbers," all waiting with their sharp daggers to turn red with Huckabee blood. Why are you ticked off? It's YOUR GOP PARTY who is doing more internal damage!!
"Of course their is a double standard. Thats why Obama is where he is today, he got in via the affirmative action standard."
Ah right, he got given a 10% vote headstart right?