Speaking to a group of social conservatives in Iowa over the weekend, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) warned that Sarah Palin might just "run away with" the party's presidential primary two years from now should she decide to run.
"No question, she will be a very, very strong presence and force, if she gets in," Huckabee said of the former Alaska governor, according to the Des Moines Register. "You know, she may run away with it. And that’s one of those things everyone needs to be prepared for."
Huckabee, who was the last man standing against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 Republican primary, has been coy on his plans for 2012.
Huckabee said Sunday that he is "considering" another run, but declined to provide a timeframe for when he might make a final decision.
Huckabee's 2008 win in the Iowa caucuses vaulted him to GOP stardom, and polls show he could be the early favorite in Iowa again if he decides to run in 2012. Huckabee boasts a solid base of support with evangelical voters in the state— a key voting bloc in the caucuses.
On Sunday, Huckabee praised the campaign led by former Iowa gubernatorial hopeful Bob Vander Plaats to oust three state Supreme Court justices over their decision to overturn a ban on gay marriage in the state and said it could prove to be a model for similar campaigns across the nation.
While most potential 2012 hopefuls, including Palin and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, endorsed Gov. Terry Branstad earlier this year, Huckabee stood by Vander Plaats, who chaired his 2008 presidential campaign in the state.
Palin, meanwhile, is headed back to Iowa at the end of this week for one of the first stops on the tour for her new book, America by Heart. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was in the state promoting his book last week.