A southwest Missouri congressman who’s running for the U.S. Senate launched his statewide bus tour on Tuesday, with stops in Springfield, Branson, Jefferson City and Hannibal.

U.S. Rep. Billy Long (R-Springfield) is seeking Missouri’s GOP U.S. Senate nomination in 2022 (photo courtesy of Congressman Long’s Senate campaign website)

U.S. Rep. Billy Long (R-Springfield) has released a new video, where he describes President Joe Biden (D) as the worst president in U.S. history.

Long tells Missourinet that he met personally last week with former President Donald Trump for 45 minutes at Trump Tower in New York City, urging him to get personally involved in Missouri’s Senate race.

“If we can get a candidate to the (November 2022) general election in Missouri on the Republican side that doesn’t cause us to spend $40, $50 million against a Democrat, then that’s going to help us pick up Arizona, that seat that we should never have lost out there. And that’s going to help us pick up Georgia,” Long says.

Long is currently in his sixth House term on Capitol Hill. His district includes Springfield, Joplin, Branson and Republic. He’s confident that he’ll win the GOP primary, in a crowded field. The field includes former Governor Eric Greitens, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) and attorney Mark McCloskey.

Long says southwest Missouri has the largest number of GOP primary voters in the state.

“”I think that it (Missouri’s Senate GOP primary in 2022) shapes up to be very similar to the first time that I ran (for the U.S. House) back in 2010. I’m not the guy that’s supposed to win, and I just outwork everyone. And I think that’s going to happen again this time,” says Long.

Congressman Long is critical of the Biden administration’s policies on criminal justice and on the border, adding that Republicans must take control of the Senate in 2022.

“If anyone is upset about defund the police and the lack of police and all the crime going on. Or if you’re upset about open borders, wide open borders, putting illegal aliens on commercial airliners with no identification, no driver’s license, no REAL ID, no passport. We don’t know who these people are,” Long says.

He says Vice President Kamala Harris has broken eight ties in the Senate this year.

The “Springfield News-Leader” reports Long has spoken to U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley (both Republicans) about the race, telling the newspaper that they have been “very fair talking to every candidate who wants to talk with them.”

Democratic U.S. Senate candidates include former State Sen. Scott Sifton (D-Affton), Marine veteran Lucas Kunce and small business owner Spencer Toder. Former Governor Jay Nixon (D), who served two terms as governor and four terms as attorney general, has announced that he will not be running for the Senate.

Senator Blunt will be retiring next year. He was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and is finishing his second term. The seat was previously held by U.S. Sen. Kit Bond (R), who served four terms from 1987-2010.

The last Democrat to hold the seat was U.S. Sen. Tom Eagleton, who served three terms until he retired in 1986. Filing for the Senate race begins in February in Jefferson City.

Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and U.S. Rep. Billy Long (R-Springfield), which was recorded on August 4, 2021:

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