Republican California gubernatorial hopeful Caitlyn Jenner revealed in a CNN interview that she did not vote in 2020.
Jenner, who announced a bid to challenge Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a likely recall election, spoke with CNN’s Dana Bash, and a clip of that interview aired Tuesday on “New Day.” (RELATED: It’s Crazy That Caitlyn Jenner Is The Single Best Messenger In The Republican Party)
Bash asked Jenner about former President Donald Trump, saying that critics were concerned because she had hired people from Trump’s team and had suggested that was proof of allegiance.
“What’s your response?” Bash asked Jenner.
“I have never even talked to Trump about any of this stuff. We’re in that post-Trump era,” Jenner said, noting that many Republicans had come out of the woodwork to help once she declared her intent to run.
“They’re all my friends. I’ve known them, a lot of them, for years. Some are new. And I have a very good group of people that are really looking out for me,” she said.
“And the fact they work for the Trump campaign?” Bash pressed.
Jenner said that made no difference, arguing that those people would have worked with any Republican who had been elected. “I mean, to me, that has no factor. They are very knowledgeable, very good. I need to surround myself with good people, and I’m very fortunate that the Republican Party has supported me in a way that they’ve surrounded me with really good people,” she added, saying once more that she had not spoken to Trump about any of that.
“Did you vote for him in 2020?” Bash asked.
“No,” Jenner replied, adding, “I didn’t even vote,” when Bash pressed for more.
“Why?” Bash asked.
“Out here in California, it’s like, why vote for a Republican president? It’s just not going to work. I mean, it’s overwhelming. And at the time —” Jenner continued.
Bash interrupted, asking, “Did you vote down ticket?”
“No,” Jenner replied, adding that the propositions on the ballot were usually what drove her to vote and in 2020 there had not been any that were of particular concern. “And so it was Election Day. And I just couldn’t get excited about it. And I just wound up going to play golf and I said, I’m not doing that.”
“So how do you get people excited to vote for you now that you want to be on the ballot?” Bash changed the topic.
“Because I’m cute and adorable,” Jenner shot back with a laugh.
Bash went on to ask Jenner about qualifications to lead the state of California, noting that what people knew about Jenner — as an athlete, celebrity and reality television star — did not necessarily speak to an ability to govern effectively.
Jenner explained that conservative principles were important — lower taxes and fewer regulations — but that she supported Democrats on a number of social issues and programs.
“But you can’t have one without the other. You can’t have social programs and funding social programs if you don’t have an economy,” Jenner added. “So I feel like the first thing you have to do is we have to stop the exit of California. People are leaving it in droves.”