"If petty politics drives policy decisions, if one group is pitted against another for political gain, if personal destruction drowns out personal accountability, then, sadly, the legacy of our great nation will be forever altered, and the world will be a dimmer place."

"I hope and pray this will not happen," he said.

Quayle, the son of the former Vice President Dan Quayle, lost his seat earlier this year in what many saw as a bitter primary contest against Rep. David SchweikertDavid SchweikertFive obstacles to Trump's infrastructure ambitions The Hill's Whip List: Where Republicans stand on tax-reform bill GOP Senate hopeful Kelli Ward leads challengers in internal poll MORE (R-Ariz.). Among other things, Schweikert's campaign accused Quayle of going "both ways" on certain issues, which prompted both of Arizona's Republicans senators to criticize Schweikert and support Quayle.

In his farewell floor speech, Quayle did not say specifically whether his remarks about "personal destruction" referred to the campaign.

Quayle said he ran for office in order to restore limited government, and admitted that the 112th Congress "didn't succeed," but not for lack of trying.

"I ran for office not a title, not for some unhealthy desire to be the center of attention, but to serve my fellow citizens, and to be a part of a movement that would re-establish the belief that our country's greatness comes from its people, and not from the government," he said.

Quayle added that just five years ago, he would not have guessed he would ever be a candidate for office give the "bad side of politics" he saw growing up in a political environment.

"Because of the environment that I grew up in, I saw the bad side of politics, and I didn't know if I wanted to put my family through the same trials and tribulations," he said.