So much for Republican comity. The 4th District Republican nominee, Burgess Owens, trashed Sen. Mitt Romney, saying he is not “representative of Utah’s values,” during a recent interview with a St. Louis conservative talk radio station.
Owens was a guest on “The Weekend Report” late last week when he was asked whether he thought Utah voters would sour on Romney over his criticism of President Donald Trump.
“Mitt is not representative of Utah in terms of our values here,” Owens said. “We believe in education, God, industry and the family unit. And our president has done the best of any president since [Ronald] Reagan to stand for all of the above.”
Romney has frequently been a critic of Trump’s behavior in the White House, while still supporting many of his policy priorities. Last week, Romney ripped Trump for refusing to condemn the QAnon conspiracy theory but also said he would vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Romney also took to Twitter last week to call out Trump for transforming politics into a “vile, vituperative, hate-filled morass.”
This is not the first time Owens has criticized Romney during an interview with hosts who are not in Utah. Shortly after Romney broke with the GOP and voted to remove the president in the impeachment trial, Owens appeared on a right-wing Christian podcast where he said Romney “should be kicked out of the Republican Party."
During the recent St. Louis interview, Owens briefly criticized his Democratic opponent, Rep. Ben McAdams, as “dishonest in a very smiley way” before making a wild accusation about Democrats in Congress.
“We’ve seen over the last year how devious and deadly the left can be when they are left to their own means. Let’s not let them win,” he said. His campaign did not respond to a request to clarify what he meant by that remark.
Owens characterized Americans who are on what he described as the “hard left” as anti-American forces who are trying to destroy the country, using some of the same rhetoric he employed to criticize Romney during the interview.
“I truly believe that Democrats, independents and Republicans who love our nation are up against a fight from the hard left who hate our nation. They hate God. They hate education. They hate the family unit, they hate capitalism, free market. They hate everything that makes us a great country."
Owens has a history of controversial guest appearances, including several on obscure programs devoted to the QAnon conspiracy theory, one of which got booted from YouTube last week. He also was a guest during an online fundraiser for Steve Bannon’s allegedly fraudulent organization to raise money for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Owens has been able to close a massive fundraising gap with McAdams in the most recent reporting period, raising $2.5 million between July and September.