A Republican congresswoman mocked by Donald Trump for distancing herself from his policies, has vigorously attacked the president in her concession speech, saying his world vision contains “no real relationships, just convenient transactions”.
In a speech in Salt Lake City, Utah, Mia Love, the first black woman elected as a Republican to congress, said she had been surprised when the president attacked her the day after the November midterms, when she was running behind her Democratic opponent. “Mia Love gave me no love and she lost,” Mr Trump had said. “Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”
On Monday, Ms Love criticised both Mr Trump, and Washington-based Republicans for the way they treated minority voters.
“The president’s behaviour towards me made me wonder: what did he have to gain by saying such a thing about a fellow Republican,” said the 42-year-old, who was first elected in 2015. “It was not really about asking him to do more, was it? Or was it something else? Well Mr President, we’ll have to chat about that.”
She added: “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. Because Republicans never take minority communities into their home and citizens 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.”
The Associated Press said the during her fight for reelection, Ms Love, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, sought to distance herself from Mr Trump’s policies on trade and immigration. It said she also highlighted the instances she had stood up to him, including the time she spoke out when he had reportedly described her parents’ birthplace as a “s***hole” country.
Over the weekend, Ms Love conceded the battle for Utah’ fourth congressional district to Democrat Ben McAdams. He tweeted that she had called him and “graciously” congratulated him. “I thanked her for her service to our state and country. I wish her the best,” Mr McAdams said.
Yet in her speech, Ms Love also criticised Mr McAdams, whom she said was responsible for running a damaging campaign and called him a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.
“Sadly, their character assassination tactics have so stained our state, that now citizens should expect that this is how elections will be won,” she said.
“Victory is theirs. I believe that we’ve elected a wolf in sheep’s clothing. But the question remains: at what cost to the people of Utah? There is a cost, and we will pay it.”
Ms Love’s defeat to Mr McAdams by a margin of fewer than 700 votes – the closeness of the race being a reason for the time it had taken to be called and for her to concede – means the Democrats have now flipped 39 Republican seats in the House of Representatives.
In his comments at the White House on November 7, Mr Trump had claimed Ms Love had requested his help with a hostage situation in Venezuela. That referred to the imprisonment and subsequent release of Josh Holt, a Utah man who was arrested after traveling to Venezuela to get married.
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