Politics

Mia Love Says Democrats Attacking Her Because She’s a Black, Republican Woman

Rhetoric in race for Utah’s 4th District heating up as campaigns attack each other in ads

Utah Republican Rep. Mia Love and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams are stepping up the personal attacks ahead of their tightly contested election for Utah's 4th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Rep. Mia Love has a theory for why the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee are targeting her seat — and it’s not because her Democratic opponent, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, has pulled within single digits in numerous polls this summer.

It’s because, she said in an interview on Fox News radio Monday, she is black, Republican, and successful.

“They do not like the fact that I am a black female Republican doing everything I possibly can to talk about the issues that help people go from the lowest common denominator up,” Love said in the interview.

Love has been docked by McAdams and in the media for questionable campaign fundraising methods after she did not face a primary challenger for her re-election bid in Utah’s 4th District.

She lamented that her race with McAdams has plunged into a quagmire of negative advertisements, bombastic rhetoric, and media stories based on opposition research.

“They want to just do character assassination, and I’m telling you what Brian, I’m not going to allow them to do that,” Love told host Brian Kilmeade. “This is absolutely — it’s below me. ... This is something that’s happening not just to me, but around the country. This is the way that they’re trying to win. They will buy, they will cheat, they will assassinate your character to try and win.”

But Love isn’t holding back from running negative ads against McAdams.

A new commercial from her campaign is narrated in a voice resembling former president Bill Clinton’s in which the narrator thanks McAdams “for all your help.”

The ad points to McAdams’ internship more than 20 years ago in the Clinton White House and his work for Hillary Clinton’s Senate and presidential campaigns.

“Ben, you are a great friend to Hillary and me,” the Bill Clinton impersonator says in the ad. And he says he’s sure he’ll be a big help to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi if elected.

The Clintons (and President Donald Trump, for that matter, but to a lesser extent) are deeply unpopular in Utah, where third-party candidate Evan McMullin garnered 21.5 percent of the vote in the 2016 presidential election and Libertarian Gary Johnson collected 3.5 percent.

Those figures hold true for the 4th District, where Trump paced Clinton by 7 points despite garnering just 39.1 percent of the vote.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race between Love and McAdams Leans Republican.

Andrew Roberts, McAdams’ campaign manager, told the Deseret News that Love’s new commercial is “as phony as Mia Love.”

McAdams said he wasn’t “sure what to call dredging up a two-decades-old college internship other than desperate.”

“Frankly,” he said, “Love’s ads should serve to remind Utahns of how broken and dishonest Washington politicians like Mia Love are.”

But Love’s campaign manager, Dave Hansen, fired back via the Deseret News that the commercial only intended “to make sure voters understand” that McAdams’ political “background and training” has its roots in the Clinton camp.

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