Former Republican U.S. Representative Mia Love announced on Monday that she will be joining CNN as a commentator and made her first appearance on “New Day,” in which she criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the shutdown.
“A new year brings new opportunities for elevated conversations about issues that matter,” Love tweeted. “My time in Congress has ended but the chance to engage Americans is only the beginning – I’m excited to join CNN to offer a different principled and unleashed perspective.”
After two weeks of vote-counting, Love narrowly lost her re-election bid for Utah’s 4th Congressional District in November to Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT). According to The New York Times, McAdams won by about 700 votes in the district, which has fewer than 15% of voters registered as Democrats.
“Mia Love gave me no love, and she lost,” Trump said to reporters days after the election. “Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”
According to FiveThirtyEight, Love voted for policies favored by Trump nearly 96% of the time.
Love, whose family immigrated from Haiti, was previously the mayor of Saratoga Springs and the first black Republican woman elected to Congress.
On Monday morning, CNN host Brian Stelter tweeted about Love’s new gig. “Straight from Capitol Hill to CNN: former lawmakers Mia Love and Luis Gutierrez are CNN commentators, starting today,” Stelter wrote.
In her first CNN appearance as a commentator, she was introduced on CNN’s “New Day,” where she discussed everything from the new Congress to the government’s partial shutdown.
Love said her new role allows her to have more time and “no restraints.”
“I say unleashed, and being able to just go out and speak your mind and actually get things done by getting the American public involved,” she said.
About the shutdown, Love said it was “set to fail right when it started.”
“People in a room, you have a president that says: ‘If you don’t give me a wall, I will own the shutdown.’ Of course, I thought the Democrats were like, ‘Great take it, deal done. We don’t have to give you a wall and you can own the shutdown,’” Love said. “There was no leverage, there was nothing that would even set the precedent for a really good deal or compromise. In Congress — in the House, we actually had a pretty good comprehensive bill that had a border wall, it had border security, it had helping people at the borders, helping families stay together at the borders, it had a fix for DACA, which is something that we have worked together as a daughter of parents who immigrated to this country, this has been very important to me and getting Republicans to get along with that. We actually had a really good comprehensive bill that we couldn’t get through.”
Love added, “We’re leaving everything in the hands of the administration, that’s where it shouldn’t be. Whenever you consolidate too much power in the White House, it’s doomed to just fail.”