[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/13/art.huckpt0113.gi.jpg caption="Former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was both sympathetic and critical of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin."]
(CNN) - Sarah Palin has complained repeatedly that she was given unfair treatment by the media during her rapid political ascent last year.
But Mike Huckabee – a potential rival for Palin in 2012 should they both decide to seek the White House – apparently doesn’t agree.
In an interview in the current issue of Esquire, Huckabee speaks sympathetically of Palin, saying she had been subjected to “sexist things that would never have been asked of a male candidate.”
But he pushed back against Palin’s assertion that high-profile journalists – particularly Katie Couric of CBS – were biased in their interviews with her.
“Now I must say I did not think that either the Charlie Gibson interview or the Katie Couric interviews were unfair,” Huckabee said. “In fact, if anything, Katie Couric was extraordinarily gentle, even helpful. [Palin] just ... I don't know what happened. I can’t explain it. It was not a good interview. I’m being charitable.”
Since losing his bid for the GOP nomination last year, Mike Huckabee hasn’t been shy about criticizing some of the politicians he might face in a 2012 Republican primary battle – but Mitt Romney has remained his favorite target. In his new book, Huckabee wrote that Romney was "anything but conservative until he changed the light bulbs in his chandelier in time to run for president.”
Palin, meanwhile, has appeared preoccupied with re-hashing the ups-and-downs of the last campaign.
In a recent on-camera interview with a conservative filmmaker, Palin remarked off-handedly of Couric: “Katie, you’re not the center of everybody’s universe.” The day after excerpts of that interview were released and drew enormous media attention, Palin’s office released a statement hammering the press.
“As a public official, I expect criticism and I expect to be held accountable for how I govern,” the Alaska governor said. “But the personal, salacious nature of recent reporting, and often the refusal of the media to correct obvious mistakes, unfortunately discredits too many in journalism today, making it difficult for many Americans to believe what they see in the media.”