Caitlyn Jenner first moved to California nearly 50 years ago to chase her Olympic dreams. Now she’s pursuing a new challenge — running for California governor.
She is one of the highest-profile challengers to Governor Gavin Newsom in the state’s upcoming. With no prior political experience, Jenner considers herself a “disruptor” and said she has no ties to Sacramento, which she believes is a selling point.
“I think that’s a good thing, being from the outside. The insiders who we’re talking about as what makes you qualified — well, these insiders who are qualified… they’re the ones responsible for 13.3% tax rates. We have the highest tax rates in the country. We have ain California. They’re the ones responsible, not me. I’m going in there to fix those things,” Jenner told “CBS This Morning” co-host Anthony Mason.
She announced she was running as a Republican for governor of California last month after residents gathered more than a million signatures on a petition to recall Governor Newsom.
Recent polls show about half of California’s registered voters plan to reject the recall and allow Newsom to finish his term. But since announcing her bid, Jenner hasn’t received much traction in the gubernatorial race. A UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies/ LA Times poll found that only 6% of Californians surveyed said they would vote for her to replace Newsom. Republicans Kevin Faulconer and John Cox, who are also running for governor, each received 22% support. That isn’t slowing Jenner’s campaign. But the road to the governor’s mansion will require support among Latino voters. Jenner said she has engaged with “some” communities and said she has a lot to learn still.
“I have engaged some at this point. Obviously, it is still new, and I have a lot to learn on that subject. I’ve engaged with all voters. I talk every day to people. I mean, I go to the gas station, and I — you know, I ask the guy getting on the other side, ‘Hey, what, why are you still here? What are the problems with California?’ I constantly ask people,” Jenner said.
It’s estimated that nearly 1 in 10 California workers are undocumented immigrants. Jenner said she supports offering legal protections to people who are already in the state and have been for years, but without allowing an “open border.”
“I would provide protection to the people that are here. They can stay. Legal status, they’ve been here for years,” she said. “What I don’t want is I don’t want an open border where you have drug lords, you know, terrorists, bad people coming across, MS-13, bad people. We’ve got to keep that out. I don’t want criminals in this country. I want good people. There’s a lot of great people.”
Even though they have millions of followers, Jenner told “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King she doesn’t want her “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” family members engaging in her campaign, and asked her children not to be involved.
“I said, ‘Hey, I do not want one tweet… This is my deal.’ Not be involved whatsoever… I said if anybody asks any questions in the media, just say ‘No comment.’ Address your comments to me,” Jenner said.
Jenner, who came out as a transgender woman in 2015, said the Republican Party is “wrong” on efforts to limit access to.
“I would obviously, not as governor, follow that,” Jenner said. “I think the party’s wrong on a lot of [issues]. That’s why I’m running as an inclusive candidate.”