Sep 7, 2021

Caitlyn Jenner CNN Interview Transcript on Texas Abortion Law, Immigration

CNN Caitlyn Jenner Interview Transcript on Texas Abortion Law, Immigration
RevBlogTranscriptsCaitlyn Jenner CNN Interview Transcript on Texas Abortion Law, Immigration

Caitlyn Jenner participated in an interview on CNN about the California recall election on September 7, 2021. She discussed women’s reproductive rights and immigration. Read the transcript here.

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Brianna: (00:00)
California is one week away from the second recall election in state history, and the fate of Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom is hardly certain. If a majority of voters vote to recall Newsom, the question will then shift to who should fill out the final year plus of his term? And joining me now is one of the candidates looking to do just that as next governor of California, Caitlyn Jenner. Thank you so much for being with us this morning.

Caitlyn Jenner: (00:25)
It is my pleasure, up early here in California. We’re getting the day going.

Brianna: (00:30)
It is very early, and for that, we certainly appreciate it even extra, I would say. I wanted to ask you… Because you entered this race with such a splash. You were obviously a very well-known media personality and Olympian. You got so much attention. And now we’re looking at the polls and it’s kind of surprising, because you’re there at 1%. This is according to new polling with just a week to go now. I wonder, have you thought about why you have struggled to resonate with voters? What do you think?

Caitlyn Jenner: (01:00)
Well, we’ve worked very hard. First of all, the polls have been all over the place. I mean, a couple of weeks ago they had me in second, and then you’re all the way to the back, and all over. So honestly, I feel like I’m in a good position. I’m going to work hard. My campaign has all been centered around the people. I have traveled all over this state and to deal with all the issues. I’ve been to the Venice Beach, with the homeless and with the locals there and find out what the situation is there. By the way, Gavin Newsom has never been to Venice Beach, kind of ground zero for the homeless issue.

Caitlyn Jenner: (01:40)
I’ve been to the border. The border agents were fabulous, great Americans. Gavin Newsom has never been to the southern border. That to me is shocking, that the governor of the state for the last three years has never gone to the southern border. We have such issues down there. And as I was standing there, four illegals walked across because they saw all the border agents, and they turned themselves in. They were from Brazil. They only spoke Portuguese. It was shocking, got me to see that’s what our immigration system is right now. So I’ve been to the fires up in Northern California. I’ve just been working hard, dealing with the people. Yesterday, I was with the farmers. It’s been a fun campaign. I’ve met some really great people.

Brianna: (02:27)
You are highlighting places that you’ve been going where you say Gavin Newsom has not gone, but one of those places includes Australia. You left at the height of the campaign to film Big Brother there. And I wonder as you’re looking at the poll numbers… There are no poll numbers that show you in the lead. Do you have regrets about doing that?

Caitlyn Jenner: (02:50)
Not whatsoever. I signed on to do that months before I even thought about this campaign, and like most politicians, I actually honor a contract. I went down there. I was in full contact with my campaign the whole time. I don’t know why people keep bringing it up, because Larry Elder still has his radio show-

Brianna: (03:12)
Well, it’s bizarre, quite frankly. It’s bizarre to leave the country.

Caitlyn Jenner: (03:14)
[crosstalk 00:03:14]. Everybody has a job. That’s my job.

Brianna: (03:19)
Okay, fair enough. It is bizarre for a political candidate to leave in the middle of a campaign to go out of the country. I’m just saying we don’t see that very often. But speaking of Larry Elder, you’ve repeatedly tried to position yourself as this moderate alternative to Larry Elder, which obviously, that’s very key in a state like California. He’s under fire for comments that he made in the past, including saying that a woman who has accused him of sexual harassment is too ugly to be taken seriously. What’s your reaction to that?

Caitlyn Jenner: (03:49)
First of all, I’ve known Larry forever. I’ve been on his show. He is a very right-wing conservative talk show host, and he does express his opinions. There has been other issues of Larry personally coming out recently, which if they are true, there’s more to governing than just dealing with the economy. What are his policies when it comes to women? What is LGBT issues? We don’t know that yet. And so to me, it scares me. What it has done is it has given the Democrats a lot of ammunition to go up against him. All the ads are this “Republican recall,” and “Larry Elder, far right-wing Republican.”

Brianna: (04:39)
But is it disqualifying, do you think, these accusations against him?

Caitlyn Jenner: (04:44)
I’m sorry, what was that?

Brianna: (04:46)
Do you think it’s disqualifying, these accusations against him?

Caitlyn Jenner: (04:51)
Now, I don’t know if it’s disqualifying. There’s just questions about Larry Elder that I think need to be answered, and it has given the Democrats an enormous amount of ammunition. I think Larry Elder in a lot of ways is not good for the recall, because there are so many undecided voters. A couple of weeks ago, it was 55%. I hear it’s down to 40% now. 90% of those are Democrats, and the rest are Independents. You cannot win California just with the California vote. It would be very difficult. You need to bring… And that’s why me, being a moderate Republican, I think is more like most Californians think about California. I mean, the reason I’m there, I have conservative economic values. I believe in less taxes, less regulations, a pro-business environment. But then on social issues, I’m moderate, I’m inclusive to all people. And I think that’s the way most Californians are.

Brianna: (05:53)
So let’s talk then about one of those issues, abortion, because Governor Newsom obviously has made this an issue in the campaign. We’ve seen it get so much attention with the Supreme Court allowing this Texas law that essentially bans all abortions to stand. On that issue, where are you? Do you think that California should have a similar law?

Caitlyn Jenner: (06:17)
I am for a woman’s right to choose. I am also for a state having the ability to make their own laws, and so I support Texas in that decision. That’s their decision. I’m okay with that. But as far as being a woman’s right to choose, I don’t see any changes in our laws in California in the future.

Brianna: (06:40)
But you’re fine with the Texas law. Even though you say that you support abortion rights, you are fine with the law that essentially outlaws abortion.

Caitlyn Jenner: (06:49)
I think they have the right in their state to do what they want to do. Now, do I agree with the decision or not? No. To be honest with you, I actually probably do not agree with the decision, but I agree with they have the right to make their own decision.

Brianna: (07:05)
I want to ask you about COVID-19, because that’s another one of the top issues on the ballot, and I know that you’ve been very quick to call out the governor about how he has handled the pandemic in your state. Recently, though, you were asked which governor did it right, and you said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. And I wonder why that is, because Florida right now is leading in COVID deaths per capita, averaging roughly 240 per day. California is averaging significantly less at 80. So why is that your assessment, that he’s done a good job, DeSantis?

Caitlyn Jenner: (07:40)
Personally, COVID throughout, it seems like every month it’s a whole new set of rules. I got vaccinated. I believe in the vaccine. I would encourage people to get it, but… My 95-year-old mother got vaccinated.

Brianna: (07:57)
Okay, but we’re talking about your assessment of governance in the COVID pandemic, and you said that Ron DeSantis was the best at it. I mean, those death numbers, they don’t lie.

Caitlyn Jenner: (08:09)
You’re bringing that up, and that was a few months ago. Obviously, things have changed, and I’m sure he will respond the best he possibly can to this. As far as COVID, I think [crosstalk 00:08:21]-

Brianna: (08:20)
Well then, do you change your assessment of that? Can I ask you, Caitlyn? Do you feel differently, then? What do you think about how Florida and Ron DeSantis have done?

Caitlyn Jenner: (08:35)
I think overall as things change… I think when the pandemic came out, I think he did a pretty good job. There is that delicate balance between the science and the economy and public health. I think at the beginning, he waited very well, and he was able to keep the economy going. The reason Gavin Newsom is in this recall is because the way he shut… Gavin Newsom wasn’t for the kids, he was for the teachers’ unions, and the way he shut this state down for a year was the reason for the recall. I guarantee you, most of the people of the 2.2 million people who signed the recall ballot were mothers of kids who have been kept out of school.

Brianna: (09:22)
But is DeSantis doing a good job now?

Caitlyn Jenner: (09:28)
To be honest with you, I’ve been so into California politics right now that I really haven’t followed it that closely, what’s happening in Florida. We’ve got a week to go. I’m on the road every day. I’m up at 5:30 in the morning here talking to you. So we have been going really hard on the campaign, and I’m pleased the way things are going.

Brianna: (09:50)
Well, you are up bright and early for us, and we appreciate that so much. Caitlyn Jenner, thank you for being with us on New Day.

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