On Tuesday, President Trump threw Rep. Mia Love under the electoral bus, saying she lost her re-election bid because she didn’t embrace him enough on the campaign trail.
The final outcome of Love’s race against Democrat Ben McAdams is still pending, but that’s not the only reason Trump’s slam against Love is not true.
UtahPolicy.com has confirmed that President Trump recorded a campaign robocall for Love’s campaign in the final days of the 2018 election. In the recording, Trump reportedly touted Love’s efforts to secure the release of Utahn Josh Holt from prison in Venezuela. He also criticized Love’s Democratic opponent Ben McAdams.
Multiple Republican sources claim that once the Love campaign heard the contents of the call, they decided to not use it as it might alienate voters. They claim the decision to spike the call reportedly upset Trump, who was angered by Love distancing herself from him.
David Hansen, Mia Love’s campaign manager, confirmed that Trump indeed recorded a robocall for her. But, he said the other accounts are erroneous, as the campaign did use the call, sending it to a “few thousand” Trump supporters.
Hansen declined to provide a copy of the call to UtahPolicy.com.
Republican sources described the call as “long and rambling,”, almost a minute and a half. They also described the call as “unusually harsh” toward McAdams.
Hansen disputed that characterization of the contents of the call.
“There were two references to McAdams in the call,” said Hansen, describing them as consistent with Love’s messaging about McAdams throughout the campaign. “The first said Utah could not afford to have liberal Ben McAdams in Congress, and the second was about his support for Nancy Pelosi.”
Hansen said Trump’s recording was nearly a minute and a half long but added that was not unusual in this case.
Utah Republicans say Love’s efforts to distance herself from Trump have been noticeable. When Trump visited Utah in 2017 to sign the order reducing the size of two national monuments in the state, Love noticeably stood off to the side of the stage while other Utah Republicans crowded in for pictures with the president.
Cozying up to Trump would likely have been a strategic mistake for Love during the 2018 campaign. Polling has consistently shown that voters in the 4th District disapprove of Trump’s job performance.
Love trails McAdams by a few thousand votes.