Ric Grenell still mulling gubernatorial bid in Calif. recall, as Caitlyn Jenner stumbles on messaging

Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell suggested Tuesday he is still considering a recall bid for governor of California, as another recently declared Republican, Caitlin Jenner, appears to have stumbled in messaging on immigration and amnesty.

Grenell dropped the suggestion as the Republican field continues to swell, The Hill reported.

“I have until about August or September to figure that out,” Grenell told Fox News regarding his decision. “We’re considering it. My criteria is just looking at the long term: How do you fix this for the long term? How do you make sure it’s not just a flash in the pan?

“I want to do to California what Stacey Abrams did to Georgia, and I think it’s going to take about four years,” he noted further, a reference to left-wing voting rights advocate and failed 2018 gubernatorial candidate who has been given credit for delivering the state for President Joe Biden as well as flipping both U.S. Senate seats to Democrats.

Grenell, who served as acting DNI as well as U.S. Ambassador to Germany during former President Donald Trump’s administration, first hinted about a gubernatorial bid in California in February. Since then, several GOP contenders have thrown their hats into the ring including Jenner, a reality TV star and former Olympic athlete, former Rep. Doug Ose, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and businessman John Cox.

They are vying to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom after a recall effort managed to secure enough signatures to put it on the ballot earlier this year.

That said, polling in the heavily Democratic state favors Newsom. Citing a survey released Tuesday, The Hill reported that about 49 percent of California voters don’t favor a recall while about 36 percent do.

There hasn’t been a Republican governor in California since Arnold Schwarzenegger replaced recalled Gov. Gray Davis in 2003.

As for Jenner, she filed last month declaring that Californians are done with single-party governance.

“California has been my home for nearly 50 years,” Jenner said in a statement. “I came here because I knew that anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into reality.

“But for the past decade,” the statement continued, “we have seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that places politics over progress and special interests over people.

“Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision,” Jenner continued. “As Californians, we face a now-or-never opportunity to fundamentally fix our state before it’s too late.”

Jenner made headlines again when reports surfaced that her campaign was being advised in part by Brad Parscale, who was running Trump’s 2020 campaign before he was abruptly dismissed in July 2020. She has also tapped Caroline Wren, a longtime GOP fundraiser who also worked to raise money for Trump’s campaign last year.

But it was her statement on illegal aliens that drew the most — and harshest — responses this week from supporters.

In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, Jenner said she was motivated to run by what was taking place along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“I am for legal immigration, okay,” Jenner said. “What’s been happening on the border was honestly one of the reasons I decided to run for governor. I was watching people dying coming across the river, kids in cages ­– whatever you want to call them.”

Asked about supporting a pathway to citizenship, she added: “Absolutely, yeah. They should. I mean, there’s a lot of people, but personally, I have met some of the most wonderful people who are immigrants, who have come to this country and they are just model citizens.”

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Jon Dougherty

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