“When you’re running for the United States Senate or any statewide office, you’ve got to go and talk to everybody and talk to them about things they care about, whether it’s the cost of gasoline or, especially in Southern Arizona, about the border, which is a crisis,” Kelly said. “You can’t ignore that in Arizona. It’s been chaos down there at times, for decades. So don’t run away from the issues.”

The senator was asked if his fellow Democrats “recognized the complexity of the issue and the frustrations that people have” with the situation at the border, and the former astronaut-turned-politician replied, “Absolutely not. Not even close.”

“When I first got to Washington, it didn’t take me long to realize that there are a lot of Democrats who don’t understand our southern border and a lot of Republicans who just want to talk about it. Don’t necessarily want to do anything about it, just want to use it politically,” he said. “So my approach has been — to the extent that we could and can — to make progress on securing it, but also doing it in a way that’s in accordance with our ethics and our values, not to demonize people.”