A duo of protestors set up shop outside the Embassy Suites in Boulder ahead of a scheduled appearance by conservative commentator Candace Owens on Saturday, but the Boulder County Republican-hosted event appeared to go off without a hitch.
Owens is the communications director of Turning Point USA, a conservative organization with chapters at high schools and colleges across the country, including the University of Colorado.
Boulder County Republicans invited Owens to be the keynote speaker at its annual Lincoln Dinner on Saturday. Buzzfeed news on Friday reported comments Owens made regarding Adolf Hitler and nationalism during an appearance in London in December.
Her remarks drew condemnation from numerous groups, including Colorado Democratic leaders, but Boulder County Republicans countered that Owens' remarks were misinterpreted. Owens has also said her comments were taken out of context, and she released a video in which she condemned Hitler.
Outside the hotel, Boulder resident Katie Farnan said she had decided at the last minute Saturday to come out and protest, because she was unhappy the Boulder County Republicans didn't cancel Owens' appearance in light of her comments.
"This happened in December," Farnan said. "They had a chance if they were really interested in following her and seeing what she is actually saying. ... She has a big mouthpiece and people listen to her, and the Boulder County Republicans went ahead and kept her."
Fort Collins resident John Anderson was carrying a large photograph of Hitler and Storm Trooper commander and Reichstag president Hermann Wilhelm Göring standing on a balcony outside the Reichs Chancellery onto which he had added Owens.
Anderson said he had debated with Owens at an open-air event at Colorado State University.
"She's a vile person," Anderson said. "She's disingenuous and an opportunist. I don't believe she is even genuine in her beliefs."
A Camera reporter was not permitted to cover Owens' appearance inside the hotel Saturday, but in an interview in the hotel lobby, Boulder County Republican Vice Chair Charlie Danaher said that Owens is a "freedom-loving black American woman who is standing up for freedom."
Danaher added that it is illogical to make a comparison between Owens and Hitler.
"There seems to be a mindset that people want to make Republicans out to be Nazis," Danaher said. "That seems to be an agenda. We are going to get on with our lives."