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OAKLAND – Republican reality TV star and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner told Fox News she was “everything for the wall” – former President Trump’s controversial efforts to get the southern border – and called it vital to control illegal immigration.
“I am everything for the wall, I would secure the wall. We cannot have a state, we cannot have a country without a safe wall,” said Jenner host Sean Hannity in her first major television interview since joining the governor’s race from California almost two weeks ago. The excerpt was posted on Wednesday prior to an interview that aired at 6 p.m. Pacific time.
But Jenner also appeared to be supporting undocumented immigrants who are already living in the country.
“You have two questions here,” she said. “One is preventing people from entering the state illegally. And then the second question is, what do we do with the people who are here? We are a compassionate country, okay? We are a compassionate state.”
“I mean, we’re going to send some people back, OK, no question about it,” she added. “But I’ve met some of the greatest immigrants in our country.”
The Republican’s meeting with Hannity in her hometown of Malibu clearly appeared to be geared towards targeting her nationwide in the run-up to California’s recall elections that challenged Democratic governor Gavin Newsom.
State election officials announced last month that recall supporters had received at least 1.6 million valid signatures – more than enough to qualify for the elections expected to be held this fall.
The drive was largely based on the state’s Republican voters, and organizers fed Newsom about its pandemic restrictions on businesses, churches and schools. They collected the bulk of their signatures during the state’s worst coronavirus surge, November through January, when the governor imposed a strict lockdown. Newsom also made a huge misstep when he dined at one of the most exclusive restaurants in the country for a lobbyist friend’s birthday party after suggesting that residents stay home and limit their interactions.
But California now has the lowest coronavirus rate in the country, and businesses including Disneyland and professional sports stadiums are opening up on a larger scale. Vaccines are widespread, and residents have started seeing friends and family again after being fully vaccinated.
Still, most of California’s 6 million public school children do not have access to classes five days a week, a sticking point for critics including Jenner and other Republican challengers. They said they would open schools full time if they were elected governor. Newsom has urged local districts and unions to do the same, but he has given them control of the decisions.
Portraying herself as an “outsider” of the political process and an antidote to Newsom, Jenner said she was now “in a race for solutions” to solve the state’s most critical problems.
“I want to have the same fight, the same spirit, go to Sacramento and surround myself with some of the brightest people out there,” she said. “I’m an outsider … now I’m in a race for solutions.” “
Jenner also said it was important to be a role model for young people who are transgender. “And for me to be a role model, for her to be out there,” she said. “I’m running for governor of the state of California, who would ever believe that? We’ve never had a female governor.”