Conservative commentator Candace Owens appeared Tuesday before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on hate crimes and white nationalism.
During the hearing, Democratic California Rep. Ted Lieu said, “Of all the people the Republicans could’ve selected [for the hearing], they pick Candace Owens. I don’t know Miss Owens; I’m not going to characterize her; I’m going to let her own words talk.”
Lieu then held up a cellphone and played a recording of Candace Owens speaking about Adolf Hitler and nationalism, which surfaced online in February.
In the video, Owens can be heard saying, “When we say ‘nationalism,’ the first thing people think about—at least in America—is Hitler. You know, he was a national socialist, but if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK then, fine. The problem is, he had dreams outside of Germany.”
Lieu posed a question to Eileen Hershenov, one of the other people testifying to the committee: “When people try to legitimize Adolf Hitler, does that feed into white nationalist ideology?”
After this exchange, Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Guy Lorin Reschenthaler allowed Owens to respond to Lieu’s comments.“I think it’s pretty apparent that Mr. Lieu believes that black people are stupid and will not pursue the full clip in its entirety,” she started before Democratic House Chairman Jerry Nadler cut her off, saying, “It is not proper to refer disparagingly to a member of the committee. The witness will not do that again.”
Owens responded that she did not refer to [Lieu] as stupid. She clarified that she accused Lieu of purposefully misrepresenting her views by playing a short version of the clip in which she talked about Hitler and not the full clip, which she noted was two hours long.
“I am deeply offended by the insinuation of revealing that clip without the question that was asked of me,” Owens said to Lieu.
Throughout the hearing, Owens spoke about her past experiences with hate crimes, the black community and her transition to conservatism.
Owens mentioned her grandfather, 75, who was sitting directly behind her. “My grandfather grew up on a sharecropping farm in the segregated South. He grew up in an America where words like ‘racism’ and ‘white nationalism’ held real meaning.”
By Nick Sherman