political-partiesthmbRepublican Congressman Rod Blum of Dubuque says he wishes the presidential race were focused more on policy than personalities.

“It’s been like a reality show and that pains me to no end,” Blum says, “that at least at the presidential level that there’s more discussion about the candidates’ personalities, about Hillary being a pathological liar and Donald Trump being crude, than there is about policy.”

Blum is a first-term congressman and he’s considered among the 10 most vulnerable Republican incumbents in the House. GOP leaders fear Trump may be drag on candidates like Blum.

“I certainly hope not ’cause I’m a business guy. I’ve been in the business world my entire life. This is my first foray into politics and in the business world pretty much you can control your own destiny,” Blum says. “…In the political world, it’s kind of different in that my destiny may be controlled by outside forces, but I can’t change it, so I can’t control Donald Trump what he does or says, just like I can’t control Hillary Clinton, so I don’t focus on it.”

Blum made his comments during a campaign stop in Decorah on Wednesday.

This summer Blum said the GOP should “hang together” and support their nominee and he hasn’t joined Republicans in other states who’ve recently denounced Trump. Blum faces Democratic challenger Monica Vernon, a Cedar Rapids City Councilwoman. Blum recently told The Cedar Rapids Gazette’s editorial board the next congress needs to “get past all this” negativity and tackle big issues, like the solvency of Social Security. And Blum told the newspaper’s editors he will respect the results of the election if Hillary Clinton wins.

(Reporting by Darin Swenson, KDEC, Decorah; additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)