Mike Huckabee Pushes Senators to Resign or Quit WH Run

The 2016 candidate sends message to Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

“If a person has a job that the taxpayers are paying for, shouldn’t that person do that job?” Huckabee, a Republican who said Tuesday he was running for president, told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on "GMA.”

“I just believe it’s a matter of integrity to say, ‘I don’t want this job that I just got elected to, I think I want another job,’” he said. “OK, then resign the job ... you have, and go out there and seek the one you want.”

Rubio has said he will forgo re-election to the Senate.

“I think more than anything I go into this not as that unknown governor from Arkansas that people had never heard of, that had to do something on the stage at the debate just to get attention,” he said. “Now people, I think, have a different perspective.”

He had trouble raising money in 2008 and developing a national organization at the time. Since then, he has gained name recognition thanks to an eponymous show on Fox News that lasted over six years – it ended earlier this year – and his work as a radio host.

“I think I'm better prepared in terms of national recognition,” Huckabee, 59, said. “In 2012, I really thought, George, it was going to be much more difficult to defeat a sitting president than a lot of Republicans thought. And I did not see that the Republicans had geared up with the right message, and I thought that there was going to be the normal free-for-all with all the money going to sort of the predicted candidates. And it just wasn't the right time for me.”

His campaign website sells a T-shirt that reads, “Defeat the Clinton Machine,” and his campaign released a video that presents him as a fighter that took on “Bill Clinton’s Arkansas.”

“The Clintons know how to win, and they play to win,” Huckabee said. “They play hard. They answer every attack immediately and vociferously.”

Following Bill Clinton in the governor’s office proved a challenge because much of the state government consisted of Democrats and Clinton appointees, a challenge he met, Huckabee said.

“I walked into that environment,” he said, “but I was able to get things done because I learned how to govern in a difficult environment.”