Conservative commentator Candace Owens became the latest high-profile supporter of former President Donald Trump to stray from a hardline loyalty stance after the 2022 midterms.
In an episode of her Daily Wire shows after Election Day, Owens described a personal experience where she says Trump got upset with her due to a Daily Beast headline taking her remarks out of context.
The headline read, ‘Candace Owens: Trump is Pro-Vax Because He’s ‘Too Old’ to Understand the Internet.’
‘I’m telling you this personal story because I think it is something that made me for the first-time question him as a person. So, you have an individual who’s spent years defending you, right, and that individual gave you a completely kind and fair interview. You said something yourself that your base didn’t like. And you somehow transformed that into something that I did wrong,’ Owens said. ‘That is unacceptable. That is not being a leader. That is not owning things that you did wrong. That’s not owning that you misunderstood something about your base. That’s not growing. That’s not developing.
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‘In fact, he should have tried to understand why the base was so upset with him,’ Owens said. ‘Which would have led him to the fact that his base is not pro-COVID vaccine. It’s that simple. I understood that. I could have told him that. But at that moment, I realize that he’s not listening.’
Owens explained the alleged beef Trump held toward her further over the headline.
‘I never once called Trump ‘too old.’ I never once said Trump could not understand the Internet. And yet, somehow, he got that information and believed it to be true,’ Owens said. ‘Actually, what I was saying was a defense of him so that his supporters would still believe in him.’
‘Not only was he just mad, by the way, he then during a golf session with some mutual friends of ours had a person next to him who was egging this on, saying this to Trump – and I know this, because again, this is a mutual friend – ‘Aren’t you made at Candace? Aren’t you mad at Candace? Aren’t you mad at Candace? And eventually, he was like, yeah, I’m so mad at Candace.’’
‘And this got back to me that he was angry, that he was upset with me. And the next time I saw him, he was quite rude to me,’ Owens explained. ‘He was actually rude to me.’
In 2016, and even in 2020, as Owens argued, Trump was having fun and connecting with the base.
‘You could feel the energy. It was electric. I think after the 2020 election, and because of the shock of all the things that happened, and the answers that we never really feel that we got, this sinking realization that we might actually be losing our country, I think that it pushed him into an angry space, where he doesn’t trust anybody,’ Owens said of Trump. ‘Where he doesn’t listen to anybody, where he’s almost likely to believe that everybody is trying to turn their back on him and stab him in the back. And again, I don’t believe that that’s leadership.’
‘I’ve realized that no, these discussions that everybody is having, these conservative influencers people are having behind Trump’s back should be also had with the public as well,’ Owens said. ‘To question whether or not there’s been a change in Trump, how could there not be?’
Owens cited what happened in Maricopa County and the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story.
‘He has every right to be angry, but if you stay at a place of anger, right, you are ignoring everything that is going on around you. You’re no longer looking and accessing things in the way that you should be accessing things because you’re holding on to this almost vengeful spirit,’ Owens said. ‘Is he going to get over the trauma of the election of 2020 and begin to paint a vision for 2024? What is his vision for 2024? Is it I’m back? Because that’s not a vision to me. It needs to be more than, ‘I’m back.’’
Owens argued that the MAGA movement is feeling Trump’s ‘trepidation,’ and perhaps, ‘paranoia,’ claiming Trump’s dig at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who won handily anyway, ‘was not helpful’ despite Trump voting for him.
‘They’re wondering about what the leadership looks like. And I am not at all under any impression that Trump can’t win in 2024. No,’ Owens said. ‘What I am saying is that Trump needs to take a good look in the mirror.’