Republican candidate for California governor Caitlyn Jenner has weighed in on former President Donald Trump’s stint in the Oval Office, assessing him favourably as a “disruptor”.
The transgender former reality TV star who married into the wealthy Kardashian family appeared on Fox News' “Hannity” on 5 May to expound on some of her positions regarding the economy, immigration and other partisan issues, while acknowledging that she was “an outsider”.
Caitlyn Jenner to Hannity: "My friends are leaving California. My hangar, the guy right across, he was packing up his hangar and I said, where are you going? And he says, 'I'm moving to Sedona, Arizona, I can't take it anymore. I can't walk down the streets and see the homeless'" pic.twitter.com/Z1WbBBQXq7— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 6, 2021
When asked by Sean Hannity about her assessment of ex-POTUS Donald Trump, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the retired former Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete said:
“What I liked about Donald Trump is he was a disruptor, you know. He came in and shook the system up, OK. A lot of people didn’t like that in Washington, DC, but he came in and shook the system up. I think he did some things that I agree with, some things I didn’t agree with.”
During the 2016 presidential campaign, lifelong Republican Jenner had been quick to endorse fellow reality TV star Trump.
Donald Trump was the host of The Apprentice, an American reality television program that judged the business skills of a group of contestants, for the first fourteen seasons.
However, Jenner, who publicly came out as a trans-woman in April 2015, apparently broke with Trump after he enacted a ban against transgender people in the military, writing in an op-ed in The Washington Post in October that year:
“The leader of our nation has shown no regard for an already marginalised and struggling community. He has ignored our humanity.”
Looking back on that time, Jenner seemed to acknowledge certain disagreements on the issue of transgender people with Donald Trump, saying, “I was more hopeful at the beginning. And — but there were some good things he did.”
Moving on to President Joe Biden, Jenner said:
“I don’t think I’ve agreed with anything… I don’t think, since he’s been in there, he has done anything for the American worker, maybe other ones… So it is a — it is a 180 degree turn in our country, going the other direction, and it scares me.“
Jenner earlier used the words "thoughtful disrupter" to describe herself after announcing her campaign.
“The government is now involved in every part of our lives. They’ve taken our money, our jobs, and our freedom. California needs a disruptor — a thoughtful disruptor,” said Jenner in a recently released campaign ad.
WATCH: I came here with a dream 48 years ago to be the greatest athlete in the world. Now I enter a different kind of race, arguably my most important one yet, because California is worth fighting for! pic.twitter.com/BHglwn5ZSE— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) May 4, 2021
During an interview earlier by TMZ, Jenner, 71, claimed to be against allowing transgender athletes born male to play on girls' sports teams.
"This is a question of fairness, that's why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls sports in school… It just isn't fair, and we have to protect girls' sports in our schools," said Jenner.
The American socialite and television presenter announced on 23 April she was running as a Republican to unseat Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom in the state's upcoming recall election, expected to be held at some point later in 2021.
"Californians want better and need better from their politicians," she wrote on Twitter at the time.
This marks the second Golden State gubernatorial election recall in history, with the first occurring in 2003, after Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected.
Altogether five recall petitions have been launched against Newsom during his tenure as California governor, with the petition that triggered the recall connected with COVID-19 restrictions.
The petition garnered support as Newsom faced intense backlash for attending a party for a lobbyist political advisor, violating the strict pandemic guidelines he had advocated.
Jenner criticised Newsom's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has been unpopular with many in the state.
"Small businesses have been devastated because of the over-restrictive lockdown. An entire generation of children have lost a year of education and have been prevented from going back to school, participating in activities, or socialising with their friends," she wrote.
The 40th and current governor of California since January 2019 has apologised for going to the party, describing it as a mistake, while denouncing the recall initiative as "partisan, Republican".