Rep. Mia Love: ‘My job is not to walk in lockstep’ with Trump

(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) Mia Love, the former two-term Republican representative from Utah's 4th Congressional District, held a press conference at the Utah Republican party headquarters Nov. 26, 2018, to discuss her accomplishments, Washington politics, President Donald Trump and her future. Love said Tuesday at Politico's Women Rule Summit that she doesn't regret calling Trump out after losing.

Washington • Still fresh off an election defeat, U.S. Rep. Mia Love said Tuesday that she doesn’t regret calling out President Donald Trump after losing and that the president doesn’t understand the problem that Republicans have with women and black voters.

“Obviously not,” said Love, a Republican and the first Haitian-American to be elected to Congress. “That really is a given.”

At Politico’s Women Rule Summit, Love pushed back on Trump, who blamed her loss to Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams on the fact she “gave me no love — and she lost. Too bad.”

Love said she was “a little shocked” at the president’s comments, mainly because she didn’t want to be tied to Trump. The congresswoman didn’t vote for him, though she has voted 95 percent of the time with the president’s position.

“Let me be clear, my policies and principles don’t suggest that I follow a person,” Love said to applause from the audience at the forum. She said she’s a Republican because of a her principles, and the president doesn’t dictate that.

She added that she feels free to criticize Trump.

“When I feel like somebody is not representing that platform well, then I will call them out on it. It doesn’t matter who you are,” Love said. “My job is not to walk in lockstep with somebody just because they’re sitting in the White House.”

“If you’re not doing what I believe is great for this country, and for everyone,” she said, “then you’re going to have a problem with me.”

Love, a two-term House member, didn’t sidle up to Trump like others in the Utah delegation. After her defeat, she called out Trump for his comments about her.

“This gave me a clear vision of his world as it is. No real relationships, just convenient transactions,” Love said at a news conference announcing her concession speech. “It is an insufficient way to implement sincere service and policy.”

She seemed to suggest that Trump may have singled her out for criticism because of her race and talked about Republicans in general having a problem with minorities because they don’t make them feel welcome.

But in a recent interview on ABC’s “The View,” she said it was Democrats — not the president or Republicans — who targeted her because she was a black woman with conservative views.

She said after her defeat that she feels “unleashed, untethered, and I am unshackled and I can say exactly what is on my mind.”