Video of Owens speaking at a Turning Point USA event in England from December spread online and has received backlash from social media users. She serves as the director of communications for Turning Point, a conservative advocacy group.
“I actually don’t have any problems at all with the word ‘nationalism.’ I think that the definition gets poisoned by elitists that actually want globalism. Globalism is what I don’t want. … Whenever we say ‘nationalism,’ the first thing people think about, at least in America, is Hitler,” Owens said. “You know, he was a national socialist, but if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine.”
Owens was responding to a question about nationalism in western politics, saying, “We’re here to fight a culture war and we feel that we can win.”
Owens went on to say that the issue with Hitler was that he wanted to take his plans and spread it globally. “The problem is that he wanted — he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize. He wanted everybody to be German, everybody to be speaking German. Everybody to look a different way.”
Adding: “That’s not, to me, that’s not nationalism. In thinking about how we could go bad down the line, I don’t really have an issue with nationalism. I really don’t. I think that it’s OK.”
“Hey @RealCandaceO, Hitler blamed Germany’s lack of national greatness on the Jews and proceeded to MURDER 6 MILLION OF US along with 5 million other marginalized people,” wrote David Greenwald on Twitter. “That’s cool by you as long as he didn’t invade France or whatever? Just checking.”
Owens defended herself from the backlash on Friday, saying that “leftist journalists are still insane” and that Hitler was “homicidal, psychotic maniac.”
“You wouldn’t say he’s a nationalist because he wasn’t about putting Germans first,” she said on Periscope. “There were German Jews that he was putting in camps and murdering. … So that’s the argument I was making on stage: This man, by no means, should be considered a nationalist.”
She gained notoriety last year over getting a shout out from rapper Kanye West.
Owens was even noticed by President Donald Trump, whom she supports, who said she has a “big impact on politics in our Country.”