In a statement announcing her bid for California governor on Friday, Caitlyn Jenner declared the Golden State was in need of a leader with a “clear vision,” though Jenner herself has had shifting views over the last several years on President Donald Trump and same-sex marriage.
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In this Jan. 18, 2020 photo Caitlyn Jenner speaks at the 4th Women”s March in Los Angeles.
In her coming out interview with ABC News in 2015, Jenner—a longtime Republican—reiterated her support for the GOP, declaring she “believe
in the Constitution” and noting she’s “not a big fan” of former President Barack Obama, while giving him “credit” for being the first president to use the word “transgender.”
Jenner made headlines during the 2016 campaign when she called Hillary Clinton a “f—king liar,” took Trump up on an offer to use the women’s bathroom at Trump Tower, and offered to become GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s “trans ambassador,” despite his controversial comments about transgender people and bathrooms.
The Olympic athlete turned reality TV star spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention, even as the GOP greenlighted a platform that defined marriage as the “union of one man and one woman” and claimed Trump would be “very good for women’s issues.”
Jenner said she voted for Trump in 2016—though records show she did not cast a ballot, according to Politico—and attended his inauguration ceremony in 2017—but she began to turn on him just days into his term, telling ABC News she was “extremely” disappointed when Trump revoked an Obama directive meant to protect transgender students’ bathroom choice.
Jenner renounced her support for the former president in 2018, writing in an op-ed published in the Washington Post she saw Trump’s election as “fertile ground for change within the Republican Party on LGBTQ issues” but turned out to be “wrong” because the “reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked” by Trump.
Asked by Billy Bush who she planned on voting for in 2020, Jenner responded that one thing she’s “learned over the last two or three years is don”t talk politics,” before smiling and appearing to joke she would have to vote for her then-son-in-law Kanye West.
“It was easy to come out as trans. It was harder to come out as a Republican,” Jenner said during an interview in 2016. Speaking to People magazine last year, Jenner claimed to have “changed her political views” and was now “economically conservative, socially progressive.”
9. That’s how many times Jenner has voted in California’s 26 statewide elections since 2000, Politico reports.
Jenner’s mixed record on LGBTQ issues is likely to become an issue during the campaign. While championing transgender rights since coming out, Jenner has drawn criticism from the LGBTQ community for her support for the GOP and her lukewarm endorsement of same-sex marriage. As a guest on the Ellen Degeneres Show in 2015, Jenner called herself a “traditionalist” who was at first against same-sex marriage but was now “okay” with it. Two years later, during an interview with ABC News, Jenner clarified she was now “100%” behind same-sex marriage.
In a 2018 interview with Broadly, Jenner claimed Trump, when it came to LGBTQ issues, was “the worst president we have ever had.”
What To Watch For
How Jenner’s views crystalize now that she’s running for governor. No policy platform is listed on Jenner’s campaign website, though her statement released Friday criticizes California’s high taxes and “over-restrictive lockdown.” Jenner recently declared support for the movement to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, writing on Twitter she was “very proud of the work that Rescue California has done! Californians are fed up with the lack of leadership in Sacramento and it’s time to #RecallGavin.” Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale is reportedly involved in the effort to assemble Jenner’s team, but will not be an official member of the campaign. “For the past decade, we have seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that places politics over progress and special interests over people,” Jenner’s statement said.
Caitlyn Jenner Is Officially Running For Governor Of California (jonathanlewisforcongress.com)