WASHINGTON — Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) ripped President Trump, who mocked her election outcome the day after voting, in her concession speech today.
“This gave me a clear vision of his world as it is. No real relationships, just convenient transactions,” Love said. “It is an insufficient way to implement sincere service and policy.”
“The president’s behavior toward me made me wonder: What did he have to gain by saying such a thing about a fellow Republican?” she said. “It was not really about asking him to do more, was it? Or was it something else?”
Love also vowed to be “unleashed, untethered” after leaving Congress, “unshackled and I can say exactly what is on my mind.”
Trump slammed the congresswoman in a press conference the day after midterm elections, criticizing House Republicans who had distanced their campaigns from the administration. “Mia Love gave me no love and she lost,” Trump said. “Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”
Love called Democrat Ben McAdams on Saturday to concede; the final tally gave him a 694-vote advantage.
“I thanked her for her service to our state and country. I wish her the best,” McAdams tweeted. “There’s a tremendous amount of work to get done and we need bipartisan unity to do it.”
Love then called a news conference this morning. Surrounded by her parents, husband and two of her three children, she wasn’t so kind to McAdams, accusing his campaign of “character assassination tactics.”
“I believe that we have elected a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Love said. “There is a cost, and we will pay it.” She said she was currently undecided on whether she’d challenge McAdams for the seat in two years.
Love, who is the only Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus, highlighted “the problems Washington politicians have with minorities and black Americans: It’s transactional. It’s not personal. You see, we feel like politicians claim they know what’s best for us from a safe distance, but they’re never willing to take us home.”
“Because Republicans never take minority communities into their homes … and into their hearts, they stay with Democrats and bureaucrats in Washington because they do take them home, or at least make them feel like they have a home,” she added.
Love was later asked on CNN what she thought of Trump’s comments about her loss.
“I guess I was surprised at first but I started thinking … it reminded me of the problem that we as Republicans have in making sure that we’re not transactional with people, that we actually build relationships,” she replied. “…When we talk about policies, and implementing policies, the problem I see with Republicans and why we lose is because we truly never take anyone home. We never take them into our hearts. That was an example of the problem there.”
Love said her parents, who are Haitian immigrants, have been “big Trump supporters” and heard the president refer to their home country as a “shithole” and then heard Trump’s comments about their “very conservative, unapologetically pro-life” daughter. “We can do better than that… as Republicans, we need to honestly help people feel like they can trust us,” Love said. “Make sure policies aren’t just transactional and about winning a vote. It’s about really doing what’s right instead of what’s expedient.”
Pressed on her time in Congress, Love said she doesn’t “have any regrets” on how she did or didn’t speak out about Trump or his policies.
Love said the party needs to focus on giving people “a home” and stressing that “Republicans are compassionate.”
The congresswoman said her future plans aren’t set in stone, but they will involve public service.
“I’m a very faithful person… and I’m leaving all options open. I’m just going to allow myself to be a servant and to do everything I can and be an example to my kids,” she said. “Because this has been a great experience for my children — they have seen that the world doesn’t revolve around them, that they have to use their gifts and talents for the betterment of society.”