Rep. Burgess Owens told the Utah House Democratic Caucus on Thursday that he accepts Joe Biden as the president of the United States. He also apologized for lumping liberals in with Marxists and socialists in the past.
Owens’ remarks came as he spoke during the Democrats’ caucus lunch, which was recorded online.
An outspoken supporter of former president Donald Trump, Owens said in December that he believed Trump had won the election. He said at the time that he thought challenging the election was the right thing to do.
“There’s no question in my mind that I think he won,” Owens said.
But on Thursday, Owens said that he accepted Biden as the president from “the very beginning.” He said he will stand with Biden on policies that are good for the state, his district and the country.
When asked why he didn’t vote to certify the presidential election results, Owens said he only voted against certifying Pennsylvania’s results. He said Biden still would have won the election without Pennsylvania’s electoral votes.
“President Biden won by 71 points, Pennsylvania was 20, Arizona was 11,” he said. ”You guys see the math? There’s no way it was going to happen that we were going to upturn the election.”
Biden actually won the election by 74 electoral votes.
Owens said voting should be taken care of by the Legislature, not by a county clerk, the Supreme Court or a governor. He said he wanted to make sure all voices were heard. Owens said he wants people to be engaged and educated. He said he doesn’t want people to feel like they can’t trust election results in the future.
Rep. Chris Stewart joined Owens in voting against accepting Pennsylvania’s results. No evidence of widespread voter fraud was ever uncovered.
On Thursday, Rep. Suzanne Harrison, D-Draper, asked Owens what he plans to do to increase civility in a nation that needs healing. She pointed out that Owens wrote a book called “Liberalism or How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps.”
Owens, an NFL star turned conservative politician, responded by saying that he had previously misunderstood liberals. Liberals and conservatives share a common belief in God, capitalism and family unity, according to Owens. He said they have the same end game.
“What I didn’t realize and now I am realizing, that the ideology that we are all fighting against, is something we all need to know is out there,” Owens said. “There are literally people who do not love our country the way we do. And when I say that, my apologies go to liberals because I didn’t quite see the difference between liberalism and Marxism and socialism.”
Owens said his brother and sister are “strong liberals” and they all still love each other.