No products in the cart.
OAKLAND – Move over French Laundry, there’s a new social media obsession: Hangar Guy.
GOP recall candidate Caitlyn Jenner may have played straight into the hands of the Democratic government Gavin Newsom when she complained on Fox News that a neighboring private plane owner in her airport hangar is leaving California because he can no longer bear to see the homeless.
In her first interview as a political candidate, Jenner told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday that she liked how former President Donald Trump “shook the system”, supported his border wall efforts and disapproved of anything. what President Joe Biden did this year.
But it was her airplane anecdote that went viral. “The guy on the other side packed his hangar,” Jenner said while sitting in her own aircraft hangar in southern California. “And he says, ‘I’m moving to Sedona, Ariz. I can not stand it anymore. I can’t walk the streets and see the homeless. ‘”
In less than 24 hours this comment has drew more than 5 million views on Twitter and prompted a caustic series of reprimands, shots and one-liners that ridiculed the star of the TV reality show as being touchless. It raised the more serious question of whether the candidate, in a brief moment, disarmed one of the Republicans’ most effective caricatures of the wealthy Democratic governor as a toneless leader who dined at the French laundry during the pandemic.
Some said the joke was a throwback to Jenner’s high-profile “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” persona – not exactly a gubernatorial profile.
“It was a disaster that Jenner put into exactly the same shape … as the French laundry,” said GOP strategist Robert Molnar of the hangar comment. Except this time it was “my elite, wealthy friends jump into theirs.” Private jets and shut down their hangars and move to Arizona because they don’t like the homeless. “
“Homelessness is a problem – and you have to solve it,” he said.
71-year-old Jenner has been in the spotlight for many years, from winning gold in the 1976 Olympic decathlon to her years on reality television and high profile transgender interviews. But she has never run for office and only a few months to convince voters that she can lead the fifth largest economy in the world – one that has been cut off by natural disasters and a severe housing shortage, as well as the ever-changing Covid-19 -Crisis is burdened.
After interviewing Fox News, Jenner’s GOP competitors saw an immediate opening to underscore her status as a neophyte who never got her hands dirty as she grappled with the problems that affect average Californians. They have been desperately trying to gain a foothold for weeks when Jenner’s candidacy attracted national attention – so desperate that hopeful Republican John Cox brought a live Kodiak bear to a campaign freeze in Sacramento this week.
“It just shows the world she lives in,” said Steve Puetz, a spokesman for Republican candidate Kevin Faulconer, former San Diego mayor, little different from most Californians. “
Pütz said that voters will see the clear difference in moments like this. Faulconer “has spent years trying to make an impact on the San Diego homeless crisis” and extensively debating “what works and what doesn’t” to address the problem, Puetz said.
But other Republicans were willing to give Jenner more leeway. Conservative radio host Jennifer Kerns, a former Republican Party spokeswoman for California, said the reality star earned an “A-” for her Hannity appearance and will be critical to her political fate.
Jenner’s appearance was a concerted appeal to Republican voters if you look at the Fox News venue where Hannity said it was broadcasting from the “united socialist state” of California. She admired Trump as a “troublemaker” despite saying there were “some things I disagreed with,” and praised her previous criticism of how Trump dealt with transgender issues.
She also joined the Republicans in 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,” Jenner said.
While professing empathy for immigrants, Jenner remarked, “I mean, we will send some people back, OK, no question about it.” When asked if she would revoke California protection, Jenner said to Hannity, “I would do my best to do that.”
Dan Newman, a Newsom campaign spokesman, said the most revealing moment in Jenner’s interview – and the one that will haunt her even more in the coming months – was her hug to the former president, who remains historically unpopular with California voters.
“When you say you oppose every single thing Joe Biden does and believes in – stimulus payments, accelerating the vaccine, improving infrastructure. Support for schools across the board – that really makes it clear that this is so [recall] is all Trump. “
But Kerns said Jenner’s argument about the hangar was, “Not that people don’t want to look at the homeless – it’s that the California politicians and elected officials in charge are not really doing anything about the homeless crisis . “
Republican adviser Dave McCulloch said in an interview that Jenner’s first appearance had achieved her goal of “making that transition from celebrity to politician” and argued that she could set more detailed policy rules as the campaign progressed. McCulloch argued that Jenner, who speaks openly about her wealth, is preferable to Newsom downplaying his wealth.
“It wasn’t like the average Californian who’s been through tough economic times, but when it comes to choosing a politician, it’s less of a problem than ever – look at Donald Trump,” McCulloch said.
At least Jenner missed the opportunity in an interview with Fox News to set out what she would do to solve California homelessness. Her campaign website this week added a topic page saying she would work with local executives to lift restrictions and “rethink” any regulations blocking affordable housing. She also said she would urge large employers to help build housing and work out a plan to address physical and mental health issues.
But all she said to Hannity about homelessness was the hangar anecdote.
“This interview was more Cardashian than Californian,” noted Christine Pelosi, daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and caucus chair of the California Democratic Party.
“I guarantee that homeless people, as much as they don’t want to look at homeless people, don’t want to be homeless either,” she said, “and they don’t want to be viewed as a nuisance or problematic that you can fly away from. “
Jeremy B. White contributed to this report.