Mia Love vs. CNN Host on Her Victory: "This Has Nothing Do With Race"

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PEREIRA: We should tell you -- and this is phenomenal, as we just mentioned -- she is making history. She becomes the first Republican, black American woman ever elected to Congress.

Congresswoman-elect Mia Love joins us right now from Salt Lake City. We have to tell you, first off, congratulations. I want you share with us how you're feeling and tell us why this time around -- because we know you tried in 2012 -- why you won this time.

LOVE: Well, first of all I'm excited. I'm absolutely humbled. I have been able to go out and talk to so many people in the fourth district and listen to their stories, listen to what's happening, and the conversations that they're having at the kitchen table, and listening to how Washington's actually affecting them.

And I've been able to go out and tell their story, and so I've been -- I'm humbled and I'm absolutely inspired by their strength and Their courage. I'm -- I'm so proud to be a Utahan. I'm so proud of this state, I can hardly stand it.

BERMAN: Proud because they made history. You are the first black, Republican woman to be elected to the House of Representatives.

So two questions, what took so long? And what do you think needs to happen? What do you think needs to happen for more perhaps minorities to be elected by the Republican Party?

LOVE: Well, first of all, I think what we need to mention here is this has nothing do with race. Understand that Utahans have made a statement that they're not interested in dividing Americans based on race or gender, that they want to make sure that they are electing people who are honest and who are -- who have integrity, who could be able to go out and actually make sure that we represent the values that they hold dear.

And that's really what made history here. It's that race, gender, had nothing to do with it. Principles had everything to do with it, and Utah values had everything to do with it. And so that's the history that we made here.

PEREIRA: I want to challenge you on one point, though. Because there will be those that will say not so much dividing on the basis of race but just making sure that everybody has a seat at the table, a fair shot at getting a seat at the table.

LOVE: Again, you have to understand, I -- Saratoga Springs, there are very few black members -- black residents there. I wasn't elected because of the color of my skin. I wasn't elected because of my gender.

I was elected because of the solutions that I put at the table because I promised I would run a positive issues-oriented campaign and that's what resonated.

Utah is tired of the bickering. They're tired of Congress not getting anything done. I hear a lot of talk right now about Congress, not wanting to work with the president, the president not wanting to work with Congress. And few people are talking about working with the American people.

The House of Representatives is a branch of government that's closest to people and that's who I am. I am a person of the people, and so my job is to make sure I'm representing them in every turn.

BERMAN: It is the people's House. You have the job, and what are you going to do with it? What's the first area where you think that you can work with Democrats to get something done?

LOVE: You know, I think one of the things that we need to talk about is balance. Right now, there is no balance in government. Washington has gotten too big and people have gotten too small. So we have got to start rolling up our sleeves and making sure that we bring balance back to government. People should have the ability to make decisions in their home, in their communities, and in the areas that they live in, and we're going to do everything we can in every -- at every point to get -- restore power back to the people.

PEREIRA: Congresswoman-elect Mia Love, that must sound really great to hear. Congratulations to you. I know your family and community are very proud. We appreciate you joining us today. Revel in that and then, as you said, roll up those sleeves and get to work.

LOVE: Now the real work begins.

PEREIRA: Absolutely. Enjoy it for a minute. You're allowed to do that. All right, thanks so much.

LOVE: Thank you.

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