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Caitlyn Jenner calls herself a 'compassionate disruptor' in first campaign ad for governor

Taryn Ryder
·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·3 min read
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Caitlyn Jenner dropped her first campaign advertisement ahead of California Governor Gavin Newsom's likely recall election — and she strikes a tone reminiscent of former President Donald Trump with a splash of President Joe Biden.

During the three-minute video released Tuesday, Jenner, a lifelong Republican, labels "career politicians" as "elitist," but declares she will be a governor for "all Californians." The 71-year-old Olympic champion, who is seeking public office for the first time, says she's the "compassionate disruptor" the state needs.  

Caitlyn Jenner vows to fight
Caitlyn Jenner vows to fight "elitist" politicians in first campaign ad for California governor. (Photo: Reuters)

"I've always been a dreamer," Jenner begins as she holds her gold medal. "California was once the envy of the world... the American Dream grew up here, yet career politicians and their policies have destroyed that dream."

Jenner takes aim at Newsom early on as an image of the embattled governor flashes across the screen, followed by images of homelessness, "shuttered" businesses and fires.

"The government is now involved in every part of our lives. They've taken our money, our jobs and our freedom. California needs a disruptor. A compassionate disruptor. I came here with a dream 48 years ago to be the greatest athlete in the world. Now I enter a different kind of race, arguably my most important one yet: to save California."

Visuals of California are juxtaposed with pictures from Jenner's life: at the Olympics, as a parent — although the child's face isn't visible — and at the Vanity Fair Oscars party. But there is no reference to her famous family or the many years she spent on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. (A source previously told Yahoo Entertainment it's "not likely" the KarJenenrs will offer public support during her run.)

"I want to carry the torch for the parents who had to balance work and their child's education, for business owners who are forced to shut down, for pastors who are not able to be with their congregation, for the family who lost their home in a fire, for an entire generation of students who lost a year of education," she adds.

Jenner says "this past year has redefined our career politicians as elitists." While she still doesn't mention anyone by name, a clip is shown of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting a hair salon, which was in violation of local restrictions. She also shows the maskless photo of Newsom at an indoor 12-person dinner despite his suggested safety guidelines.

"California is facing big hurdles," she says over a video from the 1976 Olympic decathlon. "We need leaders who are unafraid to leap to new heights, who are unafraid to challenge and to change the status quo." 

Jenner wants "to bring back the gold to the Golden State."

"I don't care if you're a Republican or a Democrat," she declares. "I'm running to be governor for all Californians... Together we'll restore and renew the California dream." 

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Tuesday's announcement got off to a rocky start. Jenner's first name was misspelled as "Cailyn" in the news release accompanying the video. 

The ad comes days after Jenner faced backlash from the LGBTQ+ community. The reality star, who bills herself as "economically conservative" and "socially progressive," voiced her stance that transgender girls should not play on girls' sports teams.

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