Transgender activist and former Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, told a radio host she is considering running for the U.S. Senate.
In an interview that aired on Sunday on WNYM-AM with John Catsimatidis, Jenner said she would “look for a senatorial run” and that she “like[s] the political side.”
“There’s a rumor you want to run for the United States Senate in California,” Catsimatidis said.
“How did it get back to you? … I have considered it. I like the political side of it,” Jenner said. “If there’s one thing, I work very closely with a group called the American Unity Fund, that their sole purpose, their mission statement is to get the Republican Party to do a better job when it comes to LGBT issues. That’s kind of my issue.”
“The political side of it has also always been very intriguing to me,” Jenner added. “Over the next six months or so, I got to find out where I can do a better job. Can I do a better job from the outside? Kind of working the perimeter of the political scene, being open to talking to anybody? Or, are you better from the inside? And we are in the process of determining that. But yeah, I would look for a senatorial run.”
Jenner’s “six month” timeline suggests if she does choose to run, it would likely be in 2018. Incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), who has held the seat since 1992, is very popular in California, but it’s not clear whether Feinstein, who is 84 years old and the oldest member of the Senate, will run for reelection in 2018.
In January, Feinstein told a reporter she had not decided whether she would run in 2018, but she hinted she would like to if her health holds up, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
“What I’ve said is, as long as I feel I can get things done, and I can, then I think I benefit the people of my state as opposed to someone new coming in. That, I realize is in anyone’s mind is different, but you asked me what I think. If I can produce, and I can produce, and I can continue to produce, then I will continue to produce. If I believe I can’t, either by health or any other way, I won’t, but as long as I believe I can, I will,” Feinstein said. “Is that pretty clear?”
If Jenner does choose to run for the Senate and Feinstein also goes for reelection, it’s likely Jenner would run as a Republican. She has roots in the Republican Party, identifies as fiscally conservative, and it’s hard to believe anyone, even someone as high-profile as Jenner, could beat the entrenched Feinstein in a Democratic Party primary race.
In Jenner’s interview with Catsimatidis, she was very critical of the Democratic Party on the controversial issue of whether Democrats should align with Islamic groups that, according to Catsimatidis, promote Sharia law.
“Being a part of the [LGBT] community, and the Democrats mostly being the pro-Muslim, pro-Sharia law — how do the Democrats justify liking the LGBT community when they’re also pushing Sharia law?” Catsimatidis asked.
“I totally agree with you,” Jenner replied. “We’re talking about equality for everybody. Actually, this afternoon, I’m going to meet with [U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations] Nikki Haley, and we’re going to discuss the international ramifications of being in the LGBT community … Yes, around the world, it’s very hard to support Saudi Arabia — ”
“When they’d rather cut your head off,” Catsimatidis interjected.
“Yes, they’re not very friendly to our community,” Jenner replied. “And so, yeah, I think the Democrats in a lot of ways — although in the United States, the perception of the Democrats is they’re pro-equality, pro-LGBT and this and that. And the perception of the Republican Party is that they are all about rich white guys trying to make money. I would hope in the next generation — because it’ll take a generation for this to change — that we can change the perception of the Republican Party and make it the party of equality. If you can do that — if you can be socially aware of what’s going on but conservatively economically [sic], I mean, that’s the way to go.”
Jenner also said she believes in “limited government” and conservative economic policies.
“Give the people of this country the freedom to go out into the workforce without tons and tons and tons and tons of regulations, and all the things that go on,” Jenner said. “I believe in the people, not in massive government.”