Former U.S. representative Mia Love (R-Utah) said Tuesday that race relations were getting no better under President Donald Trump as the president faces criticism over recent tweets attacking Al Sharpton and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).
“I certainly don’t think that they’re getting better,” Love told The Federalist when asked about race relations under Trump following her remarks at the Young America’s Foundation’s National Conservative Student Conference in Washington D.C. “I think that we have to again watch the language that we use because no one will trust you if they don’t feel like you like them.”
Earlier this week, Love — who was the first black Republican woman elected to Congress, criticized Trump’s tweets attacking four nonwhite congresswomen and tweets labeling Cummings’ district as “a disgusting rat and rodent infested mess” — as racist in an op-ed published in the Australian Broadcasting Company.
Yet the former representative declined to call the president a racist in her remarks with The Federalist. “It’s a horrible thing to call a person, so I’m not going to engage in that conversation,” Love said. “I just would like to see him talk about the positive things that have been going on. I’d like to see us focus on conversations about the economy and unemployment going down.”
On Sunday, Love, who joined CNN as a contributor following the loss of her congressional seat last fall, was quick to defend the Republican Party while condemning Trump’s tweets.
“I want to remind everyone that Republicans are not racist,” Love said on CNN.
In her speech to college students from around the country gathered at the National Conservative Student Conference Tuesday, Love reaffirmed that Republicans ought to highlight conservative policies that promote all Americans rather than highlighting poverty in certain areas.
“Our policies don’t help a particular group of people,” Love told students. “I would have preferred the comments about Baltimore to be ‘How can I help,’” she said, adding that there are people struggling in every state across the country.
On whether the Utah Republican was planning to run for Congress in her old district again, Love kept the door open.
“I can’t say yes, I can’t say no,” Love said.
Last month, Love told the Utah newspaper The Deseret News that she is poised to enter the race for her old seat in Utah’s 4th congressional district, but said she would not enter the contest if she felt she did not need to.
“There isn’t anyone that I believe can win right now,” Love told The Deseret, but added, “If I don’t have to get in the race, I won’t.”