Having lost her re-election bid, Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, is unloading on the Republican Party and its leader, chiding President Trump for alienating women and minorities and warning that an ingrained tone deafness is dragging down the GOP.
Love said in an interview this week with the Washington Examiner she is proud of supporting legislation that boosted economic growth. But the only black Republican woman in Congress, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, said voters want more than a job; they want to feel valued. Republican pleading that policy outweighs rhetoric is not only off-base, Love said, it’s interpreted as patronizing by women and minorities.
“So why do they stay with Democrats? I think it’s because they feel like they have a home — or Democrats make them feel like they have a home,” Love said. “I’ve said this to my colleagues, we need to do a better job than just talking about how great our policies are, we need to actually let people know that we care. They need to like Republicans.”
The Democrats gained 40 House seats in November, capturing the majority on the strength of a suburban revolt fueled by a desire — especially among women — to put a check on Trump. Love, who holds a suburban Salt Lake City seat, was swept away by this high blue tide. Trump publicly lashed out at her the day after the election, apparently feeling scorned. “Mia Love gave me no love and she lost,” he said.
Now free of political constraints, Love, 42, is opening up about the challenges facing Republicans at a time when the party is dominated by Trump and members of Congress who are mostly white and mostly men.
Many Republicans in Congress, and many GOP voters, argue that results, not rhetoric, are what matter. The economy is booming, unemployment is at historic lows, including for African-Americans, Hispanics, and other ethnic minorities, and wages are on the rise. That is more important, say these Republicans, than Trump’s periodic outbursts on social media, or his tongue lashing of political opponents or those inside the GOP he has deemed disloyal.
Love disagrees, and she points to the midterm elections as evidence. Republicans gained two Senate seats, but the party lost more than three-dozen House seats primarily in suburban and exurban districts where the economy is in great shape and growing. That has everything to do with Trump’s behavior — and that her colleagues continue to dismiss the anxiety and disgust it engenders in so many of those voters, she believes.
SOURCE: David M. Drucker & Al Weaver
The Washington Examiner