Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) took a parting shot Monday at President Trump — saying he has “no relationships, just convenient transactions” — as she conceded narrow defeat in her reelection bid against Democrat Ben McAdams.
Trump had called out Love by name at a combative White House news conference the day after Election Day, criticizing her and other defeated Republicans and suggesting that they lost because they did not sufficiently “embrace” him.
“Mia Love gave me no love, and she lost,” Trump said. “Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”
With voting by mail a popular option in Utah, the outcome of the race remained in doubt until last week, when the Associated Press called it for McAdams, the mayor of Salt Lake County. For a short time, Love had pulled ahead in the count, making it appear Trump’s assessment might have been premature.
Speaking in Salt Lake City on Monday, Love said she was taken aback by Trump’s “jab” at her.
“The president’s behavior towards me made me wonder: What did he have to gain by saying such a thing about a fellow Republican?” Love said.
She said Trump’s comments “gave me a clear vision of his world as it is: no real relationships, just convenient transactions. That is an insufficient way to implement sincere service and policy.”
Love, an African American, continued: “This election experience and these comments shines a spotlight on 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, yet they’re never willing to take us home.”
Despite the fallout with Trump, Love said she remains committed to being a Republican — “I know conservative policies work,” she said — and did not rule out a comeback bid for Congress in 2020.
Love said leaving public office will allow her to speak more freely in the future.
“I am unleashed, I am untethered, and I am unshackled, and I can say exactly what’s on my mind,” she said.