Speaking with CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union Sunday, the South Carolina Senator asked for the newly out trans woman and Vanity Fair cover-girl’s vote, while also saying he will accept the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality.
"If Caitlyn Jenner wants to be safe and have a prosperous economy, vote for me. ... I haven't walked in her shoes,” the Senator said, pausing momentarily before using Jenner’s preferred pronoun. “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. I'm a pro-life, traditional marriage kind of guy, but I'm running to be president of the United States. If Caitlyn Jenner wants to be a Republican, she is welcome in my party.”
The former Olympian and Kardashian stepparent revealed in her coming-out interview with Diane Sawyer that she does identify as a Republican.
“So the Republicans should reach out to people like her, to transgender Americans, and not shun them,” asked CNN’s Dana Bash.
“Understand what you’re getting with Lindsey Graham,” explained the Senator. “I’m pro-life, I believe in traditional marriage — without animosity. The courts are going to rule, probably in June, about traditional marriage, I will accept the court’s decision. I will proudly defend the unborn, but if we can’t agree on abortion, then let’s talk about taxes. We’re literally all in this together.”
“Here’s what I would say to the talk show hosts,” added Graham, responding to Bash’s mention of Iowa radio host Steve Deace who, like Rush Limbaugh, suggested that Republicans should reject Jenner as the Republican woman she knows herself to be. “In the eyes of radical Islam, they hate you as much as they hate Caitlyn Jenner. They hate us all because we won’t agree to their view of religion. So America, we are all in this together.
Watch Graham’s remarks in Iowa below.