U.S. Rep. Mia Love of Utah endorsed Marco Rubio for president Thursday on Fox News, saying she became inspired by him after he visited Utah.
“He had a rally and he talked about his family,” she said. “He talked about his love for this country. And I realized that my story is so similar to his.”
Like Rubio, Love is the child of immigrant parents, and she’s also the GOP’s first black woman in Congress. She became a national star of sorts when she received a speaking engagement at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa when she was initially running for office. She lost a bid for Congress that year, but won in 2014.
In light of the recent terror attacks in Paris, Love said Rubio’s foreign policy views solidified her support for him.
Later in the day, the Democratic National Committee mocked the endorsement with a prepared statement, “When it comes to bilking taxpayers, Marco Rubio and Mia Love are no different.”
The DNC linked reports about Rubio’s financial records that recently resurfaced regarding his tenure as Florida Speaker of the House to a controversy Love endured in September, when she ended up paying back taxpayers for the cost of a round-trip flight to Washington after the D.C. website The Hill raised questions about her travel expenses.
“Just like Marco Rubio, Mia Love has a long history of shady financial dealings while trying to milk all of the perks from serving in government as she can get,” DNC spokeswoman Christina Freundlich said. “But aside from their terrible bookkeeping skills, Rubio and Love are both peddling a tired Republican playbook that champions the same failed GOP policies. Both are clearly in it for themselves, and both consistently refuse to do the right thing to help the American people – unless, of course, perks are included.”
Love initially billed taxpayers $1,160 for flights and other transportation costs to return to Washington the same weekend she attended the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner and other social events. House rules state that members are not allowed to use their congressional allowance “to pay for any expenses related to activities or events that are primarily social in nature.” She paid for the trip after the story broke, but then later said that she had an official strategy meeting with her chief of staff in D.C., and had done nothing wrong.