Caitlyn Jenner is still a Republican.
Ten months after she came out as a transgender woman in an emotional interview with Diane Sawyer, the former Olympian-turned-reality TV star has maintained her conservative credentials, despite facing a Republican Party that is loath to embrace the LGBT community.
"I sit on the Republican side, and when we do get a candidate, I certainly will talk to them,” Jenner told the Today show’s Natalie Morales in an interview that aired Wednesday morning. “I admit that the Democrats, as far as trans issues, are better than the Republicans,” she added.
Jenner’s words echo those she expressed to Sawyer last April. During that interview, she said she looked forward to reaching out to Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and then-House Speaker John Boehner to advocate for trans rights. “I think they'd be very receptive to it,” she said, without much evidence to back up her assumption.
The second season of Jenner’s reality show I Am Cait premieres on E! this coming Sunday and this time, she has embarked on a cross-country road trip with six other women, presumably with the aim of raising awareness about LGBT issues. The first episode features a heated debate over the current presidential candidates.
“She could care less about women. She cares about herself,” Jenner says of Hillary Clinton on the bus. At the same time, she praises Republicans for caring about “much bigger issues than the trans issues.”
However, a teaser for upcoming episodes includes a clip of Clinton embracing Jenner with a surprised, “Oh my god!”
Jenner reportedly attempted to attend the Democratic presidential primary debate in Des Moines, Iowa, back in November, but was told there were no more tickets available. She ended up watching the debate on television with a group of students at her alma mater, Drake University, but came out of it still on the Republican side. “They didn’t convince me,” she told the Los Angeles Times.
But while Clinton makes protecting transgender rights a central point of her LGBT equality platform, Republican candidates like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio still think religious liberty supersedes basic gay rights. And as of last August, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump was still referring to Caitlyn Jenner as “Bruce.”
“I knew him a little bit when Bruce was a great athlete,” Trump told The Hollywood Reporter. “He was one of the best-looking people you’ll ever see.”
Should Jenner get that sit-down with Trump, it would be a reality TV star summit for the ages.