Retiring Republican Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri said Wednesday he will only support a Democratic-led healthcare bill if it is "truly bipartisan," tamping down speculation that he could provide a critical crossover vote.
Bond's vote in July for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, his largely centrist record and his plan not to seek re-election in 2010, had fueled speculation that he might be among a handful of GOP senators whom Democratic leaders could win over. But the senator said Wednesday that he won't support any bill with a public option or "trigger" component.
"Only if it's truly bipartisan," Bond said of his support. "Only if we get rid of all this junk. I mean, I don't want to see government-controlled co-ops or triggers anything like that. It's a gateway drug to a public option."
Bond's comment echoed that of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who on Wednesday also described the "trigger" concept as a step toward a public option component.