Caitlyn Jenner talks Donald Trump with Bill Simmons
More than a year after Caitlyn Jenner broke the internet with her debut on the cover of Vanity Fair, the Olympian-turned-transgender activist says she still identifies as a conservative Republican.
“Of course I do,” Jenner, 66, told Bill Simmons on this week’s episode of his HBO show Any Given Wednesday. “I believe in the simple things. I believe in our constitution. I think the federal government was originally in our constitution with 18 enumerated powers; we have so exceeded that, it’s ridiculous. They’re in control of everything. And I think the Republican side — although I’ve been very disappointed with them even over the last 10, 20 years — has a better opportunity to bring this country back to really as close as you can to what it was.”
That doesn’t mean Jenner will endorse Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. “Have you supported Trump yet?” asked Simmons.
“Honestly, no — I haven’t,” Jenner replied. “I have not outwardly supported anybody.”
Yet Jenner hasn’t shied away from discussing Trump and his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. After saying on her E! docuseries I Am Cait that “the country is over” if Clinton is elected — and facing a backlash from the LGBT community — Jenner met Clinton earlier this year. As for Trump, Jenner has indicated on her show that she doesn’t care for his “macho attitude,” but shared this: “It doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be good for women’s issues. I think he would be very good for women’s issues.”
As Jenner explained to Simmons on Wednesday, her current political purpose is to unify. “I am here to help the — since I’m on the Republican side — to help the entire Republican party do a better job when it comes to LGBT issues,” she explained. “So yes, for that reason I stay kind of on the conservative side.”
Jenner doesn’t have illusions about the challenges ahead, however. “Now, the Republican party, obviously, [has] not been as good as it comes to LGBT issues and social issues,” she said. “And so I have kind positioned myself with the Republican party [to help them] understand what the issues are for the LGBT community, and obviously in my case, the ‘T’ portion.”
She continued: “We have a lot of issues. We have nine times the suicide rate than the general public. Young kids, especially, [are] very prone to bullying, to not fitting in. The murder rate is way, way too high for trans individuals.”
Speaking passionately about hate crimes, Jenner added: “Maybe I can help the Republican party do a better job when it comes to these types of issues.”
Watch Jenner and Simmons talk politics in the video below.