OAKLAND – Reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner portrayed herself as fiscal conservative and social liberal in a CNN interview on Monday that was her second national television interview since she launched her California governor recall last month.
Jenner emphasized some standard conservative positions on the economy and blocked illegal entry into the US, but avoided stricter positions. She initially pushed back when reporter Dana Bash called her a Republican and said she was “kind of on the Republican side.” Jenner is a registered Republican voter in Los Angeles County.
“I don’t like labels, you know,” Jenner said. “I’m me. OK? That’s how I do it. Just because I have a conservative economic philosophy is the only thing the Republicans get me into. But I don’t know, maybe you call I’m a libertarian, maybe you call me them.” Mitte. I really don’t know, because when it comes to social issues, I’m a lot more progressive, a lot more liberal. “
Jenner supported former President Donald Trump’s election in 2016 before criticizing him on transgender issues in 2018. Despite reports that Trump is considering running in 2024, Jenner said in an interview that “we are in a post-Trump era”. However, it took several questions to say, “No, I believe in the system” when asked if she thought President Joe Biden did not win the 2020 election.
Jenner looked like a candidate who was still sorting out her political positions. She said she met with advisers from the fiscal conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University to learn about California issues. The interview aired Monday night but was taped earlier at her Malibu home.
She joined the Republican mainstream by saying she was opposed to new taxes, warned of illegal immigration and deciphered what she called excessive environmental regulations. But she also appeared to be taking somewhat more moderate positions, advocating a route to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and saying she would follow the advice of Kim Kardashian, her ex-wife’s daughter, in reforming the criminal justice system.
While competing for attention with other Republican candidates – including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman John Cox, and former MP Doug Ose – Jenner was pressured to provide more details on her political positions after she ended April had stated that she will stand up for the recall against Governor Gavin Newsom.
She has already posted a campaign platform rejecting tax hikes and pushing lawmakers to review and scrap regulations more regularly in order to cement their conservative economic views. She wants to get local governments to speed up housing construction, a tactic Newsom has adopted. She responded to this in her CNN interview by criticizing the California Environmental Quality Act, which critics have long ridiculed for stalling development.
“I would freeze taxes. I would freeze regulations, ”said Jenner.
Jenner broke off with Newsom on environmental policy by saying it would “probably not” endorse a 2018 California law that sets a goal for the state to have 100 percent zero-emission energy by 2045. She said the market should determine when that shift occurs.
“Fossil fuels will eventually go away,” said Jenner, “but for now there are fossil fuels.”
When asked which experts she met, Jenner only mentioned “Lee” at the Hoover Institution. The think tank has grown into a worn-out stop for Republican gubernatorial candidates over the years. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recruited former Secretary of State and Hoover scholar George Shultz as an economic advisor during his 2003 recall campaign.
Lee Ohanian, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Economics at UCLA, confirmed to POLITICO on Monday evening that he was the “Lee” in question. Jenner praised him as “so smart” and “like my new best friend”. Ohanian said he met her from Zoom after her campaign approached him about his views on housing affordability and other issues.
“We talked about reforms to California’s Environmental Quality Act using common sense … which, as you probably know, have been legitimately applied, but perhaps in other ways, to delay construction,” he said.
Ohanian is not an official campaign advisor, but “speaks informally to her,” as Hoover invites all political candidates to do so. He also speaks informally to Faulconer’s economic campaign, “and I’d be happy to chat with Gavin Newsom if he’s so inclined.”
Jenner then changed her tone in the CNN interview to reform the criminal justice system previously attacked “Gavin’s District Attorneys” on Twitterand opposed progressive reformers. She said she would follow instructions from Kardashian, who has advocated a milder conviction.
Jenner told Fox News’ Sean Hannity last week that she was supporting Trump’s wall along the southern border. However, in the same interview, she also indicated that she sympathizes with undocumented immigrants who are already living in the United States.
When asked if the 1.75 million undocumented immigrants in California should find a route to citizenship, Jenner told CNN, “I would hope so.” Jenner said she was “in favor of legal immigration” and added that she was inspired to run for governor by some of the recent upheavals on the border, which included “children in cages”.
She said she was “absolutely” in favor of many undocumented citizenship and said, “I’ve met some wonderful people who have come to this country,” although she added that “the bad guys” should be deported with criminal records.
Recent polls show that a robust majority of California voters, including more than two-thirds of likely Republican voters, support creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the country if they meet requirements like tax repayment.
After a preview of her CNN interview was posted on social media, Jenner took to Twitter to reassure GOP voters that she remains strongly in favor of Trump’s immigration policies. “I am for legal immigration. I strongly support the wall and reject open borders, “she tweeted.” As a Gov, I will end CA as a protective state and see violent criminals deported immediately. ”
Jenner ignored the fact that as governor she would have limited power over the matter since then California Conservation Area status is the result of legislation upheld by the US Supreme Court. The governors of California have no power to unilaterally repeal laws.
Jenner’s appearance on CNN came after a crude campaign rollout, during which she was criticized for a website that originally did not include policy positions. Then comments she made on “Hannity” last week went viral and ridiculed by comedians after she complained that a neighboring private plane owner in her airport hangar was leaving California because he could no longer bear to see people homeless are.
71-year-old Jenner is a wealthy political newcomer who became a celebrity nearly five decades ago with a gold medal win in the 1976 Olympic decathlon. She’s also spent years on reality TV’s Keeping Up With The Kardashians and has become a high profile transgender activist.
According to sources, the reality TV star has met with supporters and GOP activists and is involved in fundraising. So far, however, the candidate has not conducted any public events and has only conducted an interview with California media about her urge to run the most populous state in the country.
She said in an interview on Monday that her famous children “are not involved at all”. Jenner said she told them, “I’m not going to ask you for a tweet. I’m not going to ask you a thing. You live your life.”
In that conversation with the Los Angeles Times last week, Jenner said she was curious how her gubernatorial campaign would be received by the public and the press.
“Here I am, little Caitlyn. I’ve lived my life authentically for the past six years. I’ve never been happier, “she said.” It’s never been better. And I could never have done that in my old life. “
Ben Leonard contributed to this report.