Rep. Ted Lieu plays Candace Owens' Hitler remarks during white nationalism hearing

Candace Owens.
(Image credit: Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Things got testy Tuesday on Capitol Hill, when Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) played audio of conservative commentator Candace Owens' controversial remarks on Adolf Hitler during a hearing on white nationalism.

Owens, who said white nationalism is not on the rise and is just a way for Democrats to "scare black people," was invited to the hearing by Republicans. Lieu said he doesn't know Owens and would "let her own words do the talking." In the audio, taken from a speech in December, Owens is heard saying she doesn't "have any problems at all with the word 'nationalism,'" adding that "globalism is what I don't want.'" Regarding Hitler, Owens said if he "just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well — okay, fine. The problem is he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize. He wanted everybody to be German."

Owens responded by saying "it's pretty apparent that Mr. Lieu thinks that black people are stupid," and said playing the clip was "unbelievably dishonest," The Hill reports. Hitler, she added, was "a homicidal, psychopathic maniac that killed his own people. A nationalist would not kill their own people."

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Owens also falsely declared that the Republican Party's Southern strategy, which focused on winning over white voters who supported Democrats, "never happened" and is a "myth." In 1981, GOP political adviser Lee Atwater told a political scientist off the record that the Southern strategy "started as overt racism and evolved into the adoption of fiscal policies wherein 'blacks get hurt worse than whites,'" The Washington Post reports. In 2005, former Republican National Committee Chair Ken Mehlman apologized for the strategy in front of the NAACP, saying some Republicans were guilty of "looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization."

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