Sen. Bond speaks with constituents

Senator Bond has seen a lot in his 40 years in politics, but finds himself watching from the sidelines as the battle rages to replace him.

Bond has seen the negative ads in the United States Senate race in Missouri.

“Politics is always rough and tumble, I’m used to that,” Bond tells the Missourinet.

Bond backs fellow Republican Roy Blunt who he contends better reflects Missouri values. Blunt is in a heated race with Democrat Robin Carnahan, who has a television ad out that refers to Blunt, a long-time Congressman from southwest Missouri, as the worst of Washington.

“We’ve seen attacks on Roy Blunt personally and I believe the people of Missouri are not going to buy that,” Bond says. “They want to know what you’re going to do, not how ugly you think your opponent is.”

Sen. Bond talks with Congressman Ike Skelton

Is the rough and tumble nature of politics getting worse?

“Oh, I’d hate to say it’s any better or any worse. It’s just what we expect every six years in the Senate race, every four years in the presidential race,” Bond says. “I think people want to know are we going to elect folks who get jobs done, who can work across the aisle?”

Bond says Republicans are poised to make big gains in Congress this fall. Some political pundits forecast that Republicans will regain control of the United States House in Washington as well as gain seats in the Senate. Bond says he hopes Republican victory might signal to President Obama that he needs to change policies, similar to how President Clinton responded to Republican wins in 1994.

As for Bond, he has no regrets about stepping down from public office even if Republicans make gains on Capitol Hill.

“I have served the people of Missouri for 40 years,” Bond says. “I was honored to be the youngest governor in the state. I don’t aspire to be the oldest senator.”

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [1:30 MP3]