Republican Rep. Mia Love sharply criticized President Donald Trump during a concession speech on Monday, saying Trump’s vision of the world is “no real relationships, just convenient transactions.”
Love conceded to Democrat Ben McAdams in their Utah congressional race, giving Democrats another pickup in the House of Representatives and bringing the party’s net seat gain to 38. Love, who has represented the district since 2015, had been locked in a close race with McAdams, the mayor of Salt Lake County, since Election Day nearly three weeks ago.
Love made the comments about Trump in response to the President’s post-Election Day news conference, in which he declared that Love had lost the race despite votes still being counted and attacked the congresswoman for not embracing him as a campaigner.
“Mia Love gave me no love and she lost,” Trump said. “Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”
“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 during her speech in Salt Lake City. “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 continued, “However, this 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 then turned her attention to the larger problem Republicans in Washington have with minority voters.
“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,” she said.
She added, “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.”
She started her speech acknowledging that she “reached out to Ben over the weekend and congratulated him for winning the election and I wish him well.”
But Love also criticized McAdams, whom she said was responsible for running a harmful campaign, calling 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.”
Love said that now that she is no longer in Congress, her supporters should expect to see a more candid version of her.
“Starting in January, my role will change and we still have a lot of work to do,” she said, adding that “we will not yield the moral high ground whatever the cost.”
“Good news is, I’m not going away. But now, I am unleashed, I am untethered and I am unshackled, and I can say exactly what’s on my mind.”
CNN’s Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.