Rep. Mia Love set to address future of women in the GOP at DC summit

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SALT LAKE CITY — Fresh off an appearance on ABC's "The View" that drew national attention, outgoing Republican Rep. Mia Love is set to participate Tuesday in a panel discussion in Washington about the future of women in the GOP.

The discussion is part of the online news source Politico's sixth annual "Women Rule Summit," a daylong event billed as bringing together "rising stars, accomplished professionals and VIPs at the pinnacle of their careers" to have an impact.

It's the latest public appearance for Love since losing her bid for a third term in Congress to Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. Her spokesman, Richard Piatt, said she's gotten other requests, but nothing is currently scheduled.

Although there's speculation Love is considering a TV role similar to what former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz's is doing as a Fox News contributor, Piatt said she's "focused on her job in the final days of the 115th Congress."

He said Love "will consider other options after Congress adjourns.”

She was asked to speak on the panel after narrowly losing her seat and will be joined by other Republicans, including recently re-elected New York Rep. Elise Stefanik and Sarah Chamberlain, head of the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership.

The summit agenda says the panel will "dive into the challenges facing the GOP when it comes to recruiting Republican women candidates and getting them elected. We’ll also discuss what it will take for the GOP to reclaim women voters who are turning away from the party."

The summit brings in a range of speakers, including actress Felicity Jones and director Mimi Leder, who'll discuss their new movie, "On the Basis of Sex," about the early career of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"This is a new role for Mia Love," said Chris Karpowitz, co-director of BYU's Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. "She has the potential to be a powerful and important voice within the Republican Party on the issues of race and gender."

It's too soon to say what's in store for Love after her term ends, he said.

"But I know there are many observers who are eager to hear more," Karpowitz said. "Not every losing candidate was invited to be on ‘The View.’ That in and of itself is an indication that people are interested in what she has to say."

Love, who criticized President Donald Trump and the GOP in her concession speech for not embracing minorities, made news last Friday when she said on "The View" that Democrats targeted her because she is a black female Republican.

In addition to that claim, which Love had also made during the campaign, she said on the daytime talk show that Trump's mocking her loss wasn't motivated by racism.

"I don't think it was about race. I think it was about him getting credit for the release of Joshua Holt," the Utahn held in a Venezuelan prison, Love said, declining to say if she sees Trump as racist because she is "not going to get in his head."

The day after the Nov. 6 election, when the 4th Congressional District race between Love and McAdams was still too close to call, the president said at a White House news conference that she and other Republicans lost because they spurned his help.

“Mia Love gave me no love, and she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia," Trump said after bringing up Love's efforts to get him involved in Holt's release. Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, deemed the president's statement "petty."

Karpowitz said Love's comments on "The View" were something of a shift from the points she made in her concession speech, about Trump and other Republicans having only transactional relationships with minorities.

"I'm not aware of any evidence that Democrats targeted her because of her race and gender. They targeted her because she was a vulnerable candidate," he said. "I think blaming everything on Democrats is a less compelling message."

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Lisa Riley Roche


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