UTAH COUNTY — Republicans are blasting Democrats for calling Mia Love “chicken” after hand delivering rubber chickens to GOP headquarters Tuesday.
Senator Orrin Hatch stood next to the rest of Utah’s congressional delegation Wednesday afternoon, saying the negative campaigning needs to stop.
“Mia will add a dimension that will be so important to this country, so important to our state,” Hatch said. “It will send a message all over this country. I’m really disturbed by some of the negative campaigning going on.”
Is the backlash enough to stop the minority party from delivering more blows to Love’s campaign? The Republican candidate for the 4th Congressional District talked to FOX 13’s Nineveh Dinha during an interview on Live at 4. Click here for the full interview.
“We’re talking about our children’s futures at stake, we’re talking about people’s lives and I think that we need to be taking it seriously and come up with solutions to these problems, instead of these political games. I’m not interested,” said Love, who is fed up with the negative campaigning.
The Democratic Party’s tactics have included Burger King Whoppers to demonstrate her so-called flip flopping on federal student loans and most recently rubber chickens.
“I’m not aware of the chicken, I don’t know what that’s referring to,” Owens said.
The rubber chickens are in reference to a statement State Democratic Party Chair Peter Corroon made, asking “Is Mia Love Chicken?”
The Republican didn’t participate in a rotary club debate against Doug Owens in Salt Lake City Tuesday. Love said she was visiting a school for the deaf and blind.
“I wasn’t going to stand up these children in my district,” Love said.
Perhaps the biggest point of contention for Democrats is Love’s stance on education. The Republican was recorded two years ago saying, “As far as federal government goes, we should just eliminate the Department of Education.”
Today she stands by her words saying, “I’ve talked about my beef with the Department of Education. I do believe that they’re holding our children back, and I want more local control. I’m very clear about that.”
When it comes to wage disparity, the Republican said there are already laws in place to protect women in the workplace.
“I think that when it comes to women doing the same job as men, they should get equal pay,” she said.
When asked if there need to be more federal laws to protect women in terms of equal pay, Love responded, “The issues that we have aren’t gender based.”
Tim Chambless is a professor at Hinckley Institute of Politics, and he spoke about Love’s statements.
“It certainly doesn’t help her in the fact that there are more women than men in the population, more women that vote and more women than men in the workplace,” he said.
He said Love’s answer may cost her some votes, especially in a race where the margin is no longer wide open.
“The race is close because we saw with the polling down back in August, the margin was wider, we see it closing,” Chambless said.
While the GOP perceives the Democrats criticism as attacks, voters may not.
“Utahns historically don’t like negative campaigns or dirty campaigns, but I think it’s fair when you have to make a decision between candidates vying for public office who are asking to be hired by voters to be able to distinguish the differences,” Chambless said.
The latest poll by UtahPolicy.com sets Owens and Love apart by 9 percentage points. A new poll on the 4th Congressional District race is expected to be released the Friday before Election Day.