From the “devaluing” of family and the loss of God in America to the recent death of talk show host Rush Limbaugh, Utah Rep. Burgess Owens covered a full slate of talking points Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference taking place in Orlando.
“When you take God out of the equation,” the Utah Republican said during a morning panel discussion, “destruction is what is left.”
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Owens was joined by Morgan Zegers, Young Americans Against Socialism; Leo Terrell, a civil rights attorney and talk show host; and Jack Brewer, a former NFL player and a White House appointee during the Trump administration.
Moderator Mary Vought, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund, said the theme of the discussion was “How the Left Hates the Nuclear Family.” But during the conversation, Owens had a lot to say about a wide range of other topics.
Here are some of the freshman lawmaker’s comments:
On God and family • “I was very fortunate to grow up about four hours away from here in Tallahassee, Florida. It was during the days of the KKK. Jim Crow and segregation was very prevalent. My [Black] community, just like the German community, the Italian community, the Jewish community — we had a certain thing in common. We loved our country and believed in meritocracy.”
“We believed the way to command respect from each other was through hard work and out-studying and outworking anyone else around us. We believed in education, faith, the free market and family. Everything was about that. And we led our country in the 1960s in the growth of the middle class.”
“That has been turned upside down. A lot of it is, we have taken away manhood. We have taken away the idea of what men are supposed to do — which is to sacrifice everything [for family]. This is an evil that has been coming at us for a long time. The left wants to turn that around and devalue womanhood, devalue manhood and destroy our kids.”
On the economy and unemployment • “The reasons why we appreciate the family and the great things we have is because we have gone through tough times. When we come out of those tough times, not only are we learning, we realize we can get through it, and we have more hope the next time something comes around.”
“It doesn’t matter what party you are part of. If you don’t have a job, you’re not happy. If your kids are not going to school, you’re not happy. If you’re sitting there waiting for a vaccine and they are giving it to people at the border, you’re not happy.”
On political division in Washington • “Over the next couple of years, let’s have these good conversations with our friends. Let’s lower the temperatures. Let’s listen a little bit more. And at the end of the day....[Democrats] are going to do it to themselves. They can’t go far enough — fast enough — to the left. We are going to be OK guys. In the end, the good guys will win.”
On Limbaugh • “In the early ’90s, when I was a rep for WordPerfect, I would set my appointments up every single day so I could spend time in the car listening to Rush Limbaugh. [Owens fumbled through several iterations of James Golden’s alias — “Bo Snerdley” — Limbaugh’s call screener, who let him through].
“That conversation led me to say, ‘One day I’m going to write a book — which I did 20-plus years later. Which allowed me to develop a lot of friends on Fox News. Which allowed me, when I decided to make this run, to have support across this country.”
“I’m thankful for a great man, Rush Limbaugh. Not his wealth. He lived the American dream by giving people hope. That is something everyone of us can do.”
On the 2024 election • “We cannot do what Democrats do. Democrats use, abuse and discard. They show up every four years and then move on and don’t think a thing about it. We need to start investing into our communities, we need to go into these communities where it’s plus 30D [30% Democratic] and..... get the message out.”
“Let’s make sure we turn ourselves to where these voices are. Let’s put our voices, our faces, our message out there. And let’s start making sure they [Democrats] cannot be so cocky and think they can just show up.”
On Black Lives Matter (Owens is African American) • “When you hate God, when you hate capitalism, when you hate the family unit — which is what Black Lives is — you do not care about Black lives. You do not care about American lives. You care about an ideology of godlessness. We need to understand what we are up against. Let’s make sure we know where the truth comes from and the power.”