Lindsey Graham Welcomes Caitlyn Jenner To "My Republican Party" & His Comments Are Refreshing
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham has some welcoming words for Caitlyn Jenner, who declared in April that's she a card-carrying member of the Grand Old Party. Jenner revealed her political status in her tell-all interview with Diane Sawyer last April, but so far, most high-ranking Republicans and their organizations have remained mum on Jenner's inclusion. In fact, Graham is just the second Republican to publicly welcome Jenner to the party to which she belonged all her life, and it's a warm welcome.
"I'm a pro-life, traditional marriage kind of guy, but I'm running to be president of the United States," Graham said Sunday in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash. "If Caitlyn Jenner wants to be a Republican, she is welcome in my party."
The South Carolina senator, who is running more on a war-hawk platform than one of social conservatism, added:
I haven't walked in her shoes. I don't have all the answers to the mysteries of life. I can only imagine the torment that Bruce Jenner went through. I hope he's — I hope she has found peace.
Even though he misgendered Caitlyn, Graham's warm comments are a refreshing change of pace for a Republican representative. However, earlier in the interview, Graham also made a strange reference to Jenner in relation to the spread of what the senator deems radical Islam. "Here's what I would say to the talk show hosts: In the eyes of radical Islam, they [extremists] hate you as much as they hate Caitlyn Jenner," Graham told CNN. "They hate us all because we won't agree to their view of religion. So America, we are all in this together."
Got that? We're all in Caitlyn Jenner's shoes when it comes to national security.
Graham is the second GOP politician to respond positively to Jenner. The first was Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who told TMZ in April that he had no problem with having Jenner as a member of his party. “We [the Republican Party] need all the help we can get," Chaffetz candidly told TMZ. "He’s welcome.” (At the time, Jenner had not requested the use of female pronouns to describe herself.)
When Bustle reached out to several Republican organizations, including the Republican National Committee and the College Republican National Committee, in April for comment, our requests went unanswered. However, there was one conservative group who was enthusiastic about having Jenner as a member of the party.
Gregory T. Angelo of the Log Cabin Republicans, an organization representing gay conservatives and their allies, released this statement in April (note: the statement refers to Jenner as "Bruce" because it was made prior to Jenner's request of using her/she pronouns).
As the nation’s only organization representing LGBT conservatives and straight allies, Log Cabin Republicans congratulates Bruce Jenner in the tremendous courage he demonstrated tonight, being true to himself both in terms of his personal identity as well as his political identity. There is a home for you in Log Cabin Republicans — as there is for all lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender conservatives and straight allies.
The LGBT group has been supporting Jenner every step of the way, and has reaffirmed its support over the last week. The Log Cabin Republicans also showed some love for Graham on Sunday, tweeting that the "LGBT culture wars" are over.
Of course, not every Republican has been kind to Jenner. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh — he of "feminazi" and "Sandra Fluke is a slut" fame — urged Republicans not to let Jenner into their party. Limbaugh said liberals were trying to "redefine normalcy," which is why liberals are accepting Jenner as who she is, he added. Limbaugh isn't wrong that a devastatingly small number of Republicans have spoken out in support of Jenner, even though she's a Republican — but here's hoping that more will follow Graham's lead.
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