The POLITICO/Morning Consult findings help explain why strategists from both parties said in interviews that they don’t see him as a factor in the race, at least not yet. West has successfully filed paperwork as a third-party candidate in fewer than a dozen states and Republicans in battleground states such as Wisconsin and Ohio have organized to get him on the ballot.
Fueling suspicion of the rapper’s effort is the fact that some of the organizers are Trump supporters and Republican strategists with at least loose connections to the president’s reelection effort. They include Lane Ruhland, a former general counsel for the Wisconsin Republican Party who has also represented the Trump reelection campaign and dropped off West’s nominating papers. Gregg Keller, a veteran GOP operative who formerly served as executive director of the American Conservative Union, has been spearheading the West campaign.
But a number of Democratic strategists said that the framing of West — a Black man and popular rap artist — as an inherently appealing presidential candidate for Black voters reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of both West and Black voters. While African Americans are Democrats’ most loyal voting bloc, West frequently espouses GOP talking points on issues like abortion and the legacy of slavery. His most notable political appearances of the past three years have been in tandem with Trump, whose disapproval rating sits at 79 percent with Black voters.
“The bottom line is that Kanye West is an entertainer. That’s not to say that he can’t participate in electoral politics, but his candidacy is more a distraction,” said Derrick Clay, an Ohio-based strategist and chair of the state’s Legislative Black Caucus Foundation. Clay said the GOP’s propping up of Kanye is a reflection of their fear of the millennial and suburban vote, two groups that are polling in Biden’s favor.
“I think that strategy is going to backfire on them,” he continued.
West is most popular among Gen Zers, a majority of whom will be eligible to cast votes for the first time in November. His favorable ratings with the demographic are at 31 percent. However, 6 percent said they would vote for him.
More, West’s lack of a clear policy platform outside his disdain for Democratic politics is giving his small network of supporters little to cling to. His campaign website is a single page with a laundry list of goals the rapper has for his presidency, including reducing the national debt and reforming the criminal justice system. The 10 points are accompanied by Bible verses. He has held one campaign rally since announcing his candidacy, which prompted his wife, Kim Kardashian West, to publicly address his mental health struggles.
It remains unclear whether West will appear on the ballot in key states. He narrowly met the signature requirement to get on the ballot in Ohio, while in Wisconsin, he missed the deadline for qualifying by just minutes. Elections officials in both states are sorting through his paperwork to determine whether he will be allowed on the presidential ballot.
West missed the deadline to file as a third party candidate in 10 states but has said he will rely on write-in ballots to make him competitive in states where his name is not printed on the ballot.
Trump has been aggressively courting Black voters, hoping to cut into Biden’s margin. His campaign has run advertisements courting African Americans and has highlighted Biden’s prominent role in passing the 1984 crime bill, which resulted in the widespread imprisonment of Black people. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the reelection campaign announced plans to open storefronts stocked with Trump campaign gear in urban areas.
Trump received just 8 percent of the Black vote in 2016, but his advisers argue that if he could get into the double digits it could alter the outcome of a close race. Those efforts, however, could be complicated by Biden’s decision to tap Kamala Harris as his running mate.
Still, Democratic operatives say they are paying close attention to West.
“It is clear that Republicans and Trump think they will benefit from having Kanye West on the ballot. To counter his propped-up candidacy, we have to engage young Black voters early and consistently on the issues that matter to them most and through the voices of people who understand their struggles and concerns,” said Justin Myers, CEO of For Our Future, a union-funded super PAC focused on organizing.
Other Democratic operatives see Republicans’ efforts to help West as not only futile but also slightly insidious, given his fragile mental state.
“I do think Kanye is, unfortunately, at the whims of folks who don’t have his, his daughter’s, his children’s best interests in mind with their policy,” said Quentin James, executive director of The Collective PAC. “To be helping that, I think, is just sad. And I think they’re taking advantage of his mental health situation to be very honest.”
The Trump campaign said it has nothing to do with West’s campaign.
“We have no knowledge of anything Kanye West is doing or who is doing it for him,” said Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman.
James also added that he does not underestimate the threat of a third party challenger who could siphon Democratic votes.
“I think this is a serious moment, in that Kanye West could peel off some of those voters who feel like Donald Trump or Joe Biden isn’t the answer to them,” James said. “I think people should know if you aren’t supporting Joe Biden or if you’re voting for Kanye West, you’re voting for Donald Trump. A vote for Kanye West is a vote for Donald Trump.”
Morning Consult is a global data intelligence company, delivering insights on what people think in real time by surveying tens of thousands across the globe every single day.
More details on the poll and its methodology can be found in these two documents: Toplines | Crosstabs
When a Democrat or Republican runs for president, there’s usually a stable of low-profile legal experts affiliated with the party who can help navigate the country’s thicket of ballot-access laws.
But if you were, say, music megastar Kanye West mounting a not-exactly-viable presidential bid under the banner of the not-exactly-serious “Birthday Party,” such a network of partisan legal experts might not be easily available.
Not so. Over the last couple of weeks, Republican-affiliated lawyers and strategists have been helping West file the paperwork necessary in several key states, in a small-scale effort apparently mounted in hopes of drawing Black voters away from Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, to boost President Trump’s reelection chances.
In nearby Ohio, the paperwork was dropped off by an attorney from the Columbus law firm Isaac Wiles, which has reportedly received tens of thousands of dollars in fees from state Republican campaign committees since 2015.
West’s efforts in Colorado have gotten a boost from state GOP operative Rachel George, who emailed another Republican strategist asking, “Would you help me get Kanye West on the ballot in Colorado? No, I am not joking, and I realize this is hilarious,” according to a message obtained by Vice News.
George and the strategist did not respond to requests for comment, nor did Trump’s campaign. A spokesman for Biden declined to comment.
Having already missed too many state filing deadlines to remain even a mathematically plausible contender, West has hinted about his hopes to bleed votes from Biden. He told Forbes, “I’m not denying it, I just told you. To say that the Black vote is Democratic is a form of racism and white supremacy.”
To longtime political observers, there’s no mistaking what’s driving the institutional GOP support for West, who has been one of Trump’s most visible celebrity supporters through the Republican’s first term. West has visited Trump at Trump Tower and the White House, and the president has publicly thanked and complimented West in return.
“One of the oldest tricks in the political playbook is to run a third-party candidate to try and bleed support from your opponent,” said Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist who is not affiliated with the Biden campaign. “What’s different here is the third-party candidate is a hip-hop artist who has said nice things about the current president before.”
Organizing something similar in the old days would have been done in “the smoke-filled backrooms; they’d be sitting there on a bar or something,” said Manley, who called West’s candidacy “a farce, a joke.”
“I don’t believe African Americans are going to vote for Kanye simply because he’s on the ballot,” Manley said. “There’s simply too much at stake.”
So far, there’s no evidence to suggest that West might have even a marginal impact. One July poll of 2,000 registered voters by Redfield & Wilton Strategies only found 2% of support for West, and most respondents said they didn’t think West’s run was serious.
“West has been a supporter, in small ways at least, of Trump; I think most voters know that,” said Matt Hindman, an associate professor of political science at the University of Tulsa who haspublished researchon third-party candidatesand ballot-access laws. “We’re talking about a very small percentage of people who might vote for Kanye West,” and it’s not even a given that those voters might otherwise vote for Biden.
West’s very public mental health issues have also raised questions about his candidacy. After West held one erratic campaign event in South Carolina in July, West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, said her husband has bipolar disorder and asked for compassion and empathy.
“Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor,” Kardashian West wrote in a post on Instagram. “People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try.”
At his sometimes tearful South Carolina rally, West said his antiabortion plan was to pay parents $1 million for having a baby, and he said that abolitionist Harriet Tubman “never actually freed the slaves; she just had the slaves go work for other white people.”
Nathan Gonzales, the editor and publisher of Inside Elections, a nonpartisan guide to elections, thinks that in a tight race “it’s possible” that West could tip the balance from one candidate to another.
“But we’re still a long way from knowing whether Kanye will have any impact,” Gonzales said, pointing out that questions remain about which state ballots West will qualify for.
It’s not clear if West’s Wisconsin petition was dropped off in time; he fell short of the signatures needed to qualify in Illinois; he’s missed the deadlines in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada, where a third-party candidate has the greatest ability to tip the balance. ABC News reported that West’s team couldn’t accumulate enough signatures to get on the ballot in California, the nation’s richest electoral prize, where he is unlikely to make any perceptible threat to Biden anyway.
“We don’t know how close the most important states will be. We don’t know if he will be on the ballot. And we certainly don’t know how many votes he would receive,” Gonzales said. “For people to say, ‘Oh, Kanye is Black so he’ll take Black voters from Biden’ is a gross oversimplification of a more complex situation.”
Elon Musk has some advice regarding Kanye West‘s 2020 presidential bid: Wait four more years.
In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Timespublished Saturday (July 25), the Tesla and SpaceX founder gave his thoughts on West’s plans to run for president and touched on the rapper and fashion mogul’s recent Twitter rants.
After West tweeted on July 4 that he was running for president, Musk quickly responded, “You have my full support!” Musk believes, however, that 2024 might be a better time for the rapper’s ambitious political run.
“I’ve done my best to convince him that 2024 would be better than 2020,” Musk told The Times, explaining that he wouldn’t want West to be accused of splitting the Black vote for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
During the interview, Musk, who said he’s known West for “at least 10 years,” also noted that he checked up on the rapper following his recent “tweet rampage,” during which Ye accused his wife, Kim Kardashian, of sending a doctor to Wyoming to “lock me up” and claimed that the 2017 horror movie Get Out was about him, among other seemingly unconnected topics.
“When he was about a third of the way through the tweet rampage, just to see if he was doing OK, I sent him a text saying, you know, just checking on you, a lot of people are worried, just wondering if you’re OK,” Musk said. “And he called me back and he actually seemed fine. He video FaceTimed me and he was in Wyoming with a bunch of friends. He seemed fine on the call. But it sounds like things are, you know, not fine. There seem to be a lot of issues.”
Kardashian later came to the defense of her husband, sharing a statement addressing his struggle with bi-polar disorder.
“He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures of being an artist and a black man, who experienced the painful loss of his mother, has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bi-polar disorder,” Kardashian wrote. “Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times do not align with his intentions.”
During his first campaign rally in South Carolina on July 19, West spoke about a number of topics — including the healthcare system, supporting the LGBTQ+ community and gun control — before breaking down in tears during a candid discussion about abortion.
“I would like to apologize to my wife Kim for going public with something that was a private matter. I did not cover her like she has covered me. To Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me,” West wrote.
Rapper Kanye West did not submit any of the 10,000 signatures he needed by noon Monday to get on the ballot in South Carolina for the presidential election, according to a state election official, despite holding a rally in the state one day before.
Last week, West successfully got his name on the ballot as an independent in Oklahoma, where only a $35,000 filing fee is required.
On Saturday, he tweeted a number of locations where supporters could sign the petition to have his name on the ballot.
But by the noon deadline, neither West nor any representative had shown up to deliver the petition to the South Carolina Election Commission, commission spokesman Chris Whitmire told Fox News.
In order to appear on the ballot in the Palmetto State, West would have to receive the nomination of one of 10 political parties certified in South Carolina. He had previously announced that he would be running as a candidate under the self-created “Birthday Party.”
In his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate, West delivered an emotional monologue in Charleston, S.C., on Sunday, denouncing abortion and voicing controversial views about abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
“No more Plan B — Plan A,” he said to a mixed response from the audience about the emergency contraceptive that helps prevent pregnancy within 72 hours of unprotected sex.
West said that while he believed abortion should be legal, financial incentives to help struggling mothers could be a way to discourage the practice.
“Everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars,” he said as an example.
Speaking without a microphone, West became tearful while talking about abortion, about his mother, who died following plastic surgery complications in 2007, and about his wife, reality television star Kim Kardashian West.
“Even if my wife wants to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into the world even when I didn’t want to. She stood up and she protected that child. You know who else protected a child? Forty-three years ago, who do you think protected a child?” West said crying.
“My mom saved my life. My dad wanted to abort me. My mom saved my life. There would have been no Kanye West because my dad was too busy,” he said.
His rambling speech went from religion to international trade and licensing deals.
“Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other White people,” he said, apparently trying to make a bigger point about race and advantages. One crowd member right afterward groaned, “Come on, man,” while a woman could be heard saying, “OK, we’re leaving now.”
West initially shared his dreams of being the third candidate to run against President Trump and Joe Biden in a tweet on the Fourth of July.
“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION,” he said.
Despite reports that Kanye West has suspended his much-gossiped about presidential bid, the rapper-producer’s name will appear on the general election ballot in at least one state this November.
The Oklahoma State Election Board tweeted Wednesday that West has qualified in the Sooner State to be on the ballot. Wednesday was the state’s deadline for independent and unrecognized party presidential candidates to file statements of candidacy with their petitions or filing fees.
“This afternoon we received a properly executed statement of candidacy for Kanye West, along with the appropriate filing fee in lieu of petition,” Oklahoma State Election Board spokeswoman Misha Mohr told Fox News. “Kanye West is now qualified as an independent candidate for President of the United States in Oklahoma and will appear on the General Election ballot.”
The news that West will be on the ballot comes just a day after The Intelligencer reported that he had suspended his campaign despite hiring both “paid and volunteer” staff to help him secure signatures in Florida and South Carolina to get him on the ballot.
West’s presidential dreams also sparked some debate after the rapper took to Twitter to share his pro-life stance, leading to a clash with Planned Parenthood. But West did continue to squash the doubt surrounding his decision, as he posted a video documenting him registering to vote in Wyoming to his Twitter account, which boasts nearly 30 million followers.
TMZ also reported that West’s family was concerned about his tweet declaring his candidacy and that he was suffering a bipolar episode based on his presidential aspirations. The tabloid added that “our sources say his family and those close to him are worried, but they believe things will stabilize as they have in the past.”
Fox News’ Peter Doocy, Pat Ward and Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.
Kanye West’s Fourth of July declaration, via Tweet, that he was running for president lit the internet on fire, even as pundits were trying to discern how serious he was. Over the course of four rambling hours of interviews on Tuesday, the billionaire rapper turned sneaker mogul revealed:
That he’s running for president in 2020 under a new banner—the Birthday Party—with guidance from Elon Musk and an obscure vice presidential candidate he’s already chosen. “Like anything I’ve ever done in my life,” says West, “I’m doing to win.”
That he no longer supports President Trump. “I am taking the red hat off, with this interview.”
That he’s ok with siphoning off Black votes from the Democratic nominee, thus helping Trump. “I’m not denying it, I just told you. To say that the Black vote is Democratic is a form of racism and white supremacy.”
That he’s never voted in his life.
That he was sick with Covid-19 in February.
That he’s suspicious of a coronavirus vaccine, terming vaccines “the mark of the beast.”
That he believes “Planned Parenthoods have been placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the Devil’s work.”
That he envisions a White House organizational model based on the secret country of Wakanda in Black Panther.
And that’s just for starters. For much of the phone calls, his core message, strategically, was that he has 30 days to make a final decision about running for president. At that point, he says, he’d miss the filing deadline for most states, though he believes an argument could be made to get onto any ballots he’s missed, citing coronavirus issues. “I’m speaking with experts, I’m going to speak with Jared Kushner, the White House, with Biden,” says West. He has no campaign apparatus of any kind. His advisors right now, he says, are the two people who notably endorsed him on the Fourth: his wife Kim Kardashian-West, and Elon Musk, of whom he says, “We’ve been talking about this for years.” (Adds West: “I proposed to him to be the head of our space program.”)
An hour into the interview, the hedging was done: He says he definitely plans to run in 2020, versus his original plan in 2024. The campaign slogan: “YES!” His running mate? Michelle Tidball, an obscure preacher from Wyoming. And why the Birthday Party? “Because when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday.”
If it all sounds like a parody, or a particularly surreal episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, West doesn’t seem to be in on it. Calling from his ranch near Cody, Wyoming, where he says that he registered to vote for the first time on Monday, West denies it is a publicity stunt for his upcoming album. (“I give my album away for free.”) A few weeks after he ended two separate text chains with me with the message “Trump 2020” and a fist raised high, he insists he’s lost confidence in the president. “It looks like one big mess to me,” he says. “I don’t like that I caught wind that he hid in the bunker.” West also says that he contracted the coronavirus in late February, though he maintains that had nothing to do with his thoughts on running this year.
That said, he won’t say much more against Trump. He’s much less shy about criticizing Biden, which certainly won’t tamp down the idea that the Birthday Party is a ruse to help re-elect Trump. “I’m not saying Trump’s in my way, he may be a part of my way. And Joe Biden? Like come on man, please. You know? Obama’s special. Trump’s special. We say Kanye West is special. America needs special people that lead. Bill Clinton? Special. Joe Biden’s not special.”
From there, he holds forth on pretty much everything else, and occasionally breaks into spontaneous freestyle raps (“If I catch a vibe, I’m gonna catch that vibe”).
Rapper Kanye West speaks during a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval office of the White House on October 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. GETTY IMAGES
ON HIS NATURAL POLITICAL PARTY
“I would run as a Republican if Trump wasn’t there. I will run as an independent if Trump is there.”
ON HIS PREVIOUS SUPPORT FOR TRUMP
“Trump is the closest president we’ve had in years to allowing God to still be part of the conversation.”
ON HIS MAGA HAT MOMENT
“One of the main reasons I wore the red hat as a protest to the segregation of votes in the Black community. Also, other than the fact that I like Trump hotels and the saxophones in the lobby.”
ON DISCUSSIONS ON RACE WITH THE WHITE HOUSE
“One time I talked to Jared Kushner who was saying, ‘We don’t have Black leaders, we just have hustlers.’ Why? Because they killed all the Black leaders.” (Requests for comment from the White House and the Kushner Companies last night were not immediately returned.)
“That is a form of racism and white supremacy and white control to say that all Black people need to be Democrat and to assume that me running is me splitting the vote. All of that information is being charged up on social media platforms by Democrats. And Democrats used to tell me, the same Democrats have threatened me…. The reason why this is the first day I registered to vote is because I was scared. I was told that if I voted on Trump my music career would be over. I was threatened into being in one party. I was threatened as a celebrity into being in one party. I was threatened as a Black man into the Democratic party. And that’s what the Democrats are doing, emotionally, to my people. Threatening them to the point where this white man can tell a Black man if you don’t vote for me, you’re not Black.”
ON HOW THE RACE WILL BE DECIDED
“Let’s see if the appointing is at 2020 or if it’s 2024—because God appoints the president. If I win in 2020 then it was God’s appointment. If I win in 2024 then that was God’s appointment.”
ON THE CORONAVIRUS CURE
“We pray. We pray for the freedom. It’s all about God. We need to stop doing things that make God mad.”
“It’s so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralyzed… So when they say the way we’re going to fix Covid is with a vaccine, I’m extremely cautious.That’s the mark of the beast. They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things, to make it where we can’t cross the gates of heaven. I’m sorry when I say they, the humans that have the Devil inside them. And the sad thing is that, the saddest thing is that we all won’t make it to heaven, that there’ll be some of us that do not make it. Next question.”
ON DECIDING TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT
“It’s when I was being offered the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Awards at MTV. I remember being at my mom’s house, my mother-in-law, because my house was being worked on, she calls me ‘son’ and I call her ‘mom,’ I was in the shower thinking, I write raps in the shower. It hit me to say, ‘you’re going to run for president’ and I started laughing hysterically, I was like this is the best, I’m going to go out there and they’re going to think I’m going to do these songs and do this for entertainment, how rigged awards shows are, and then say I’m president.And I just laughed in the shower, I don’t know for how long, but that’s the moment it hit me.”
ON HIS FOREIGN POLICY
“I haven’t developed it yet. I’m focused on protecting America, first, with our great military. Let’s focus on ourselves first.”
“I am pro-life because I’m following the word of the bible.”
ON BEING A POLITICAL NOVICE
“I have to say with all humility that as a man, I don’t have all of the pieces in the puzzle. As I speak to you for what a political campaign—a political walk, as I told you, because I’m not running, I’m walking. I’m not running, we the people are walking. We’re not running anymore, we’re not running, we’re not excited—we are energized, Someone can say, ‘Hey, I got a brand new car for you, it’s across the street and you get so excited you run across the street and get hit by a car trying to run to your new car. That’s how they control the Black community, through emotions, they get us excited, we’re so excited, but then for 400 years the change doesn’t truly happen.
ON THE NEED FOR RACIAL HEALING, AFTER GEORGE FLOYD
“Well, God has already started the healing/This conversation alone is healing and revealing/We all need to start praying and kneeling… another bar after that, but when a rhyme comes together I’m going to complete it, not inside the lines created by organizations that we know as our reality. The schools, the infrastructure was made for us to not truly be all we can be but to be just good enough to work for the corporations that designed the school systems. We’re tearing that up, what we’ll do is we’re not going to tear up the Constitution, what we will do is amend.”
ON BLACK HISTORY MONTH
“Oh one other thing, Black History Month. That is torture porn because when that comes up what we do is we see—and by the way, if I get that vibe—that’s the process and we are going to a beautiful, uplifting, fun, creative process as a people, as America collectively, and show the world how great we are. So here we go. Black History Month every year they gotta remind us about the fact that we couldn’t vote, they meaning white supremacy construct, and I said that with the CT at the end, I knew what was I was talking about…Our minds are so much more infinite than what’s coming across TikTok or Instagram, what’s trying to influence our children and the next generation of who we are.
ON HAVING COVID-19
“Chills, shaking in the bed, taking hot showers, looking at videos telling me what I’m supposed to do to get over it. I remember someone had told me Drake had the coronavirus and my response was Drake can’t be sicker than me!” (laughs)
ON RUNNING IN 2020
“God just gave me the clarity and said it’s time. You know I was out there, ended up in the hospital, people were calling me crazy. I’m not crazy. Between all of the influences and the positions that we can be put in as musicians—you go on tour, you put out all these albums, and you look up and you don’t have any money in your account. It can drive you crazy, through all of that I was looking crazy because it wasn’t the time. Now it’s time. And we’re not going crazy, we’re going Yeezy, it’s a whole ‘notha level now. N-O-T-H-A.
ON JOE BIDEN
“A lot of times just like political parties they feel all Blacks have to be Democrat. This man, Joe Biden, said if you don’t vote for me, then you are not Black. Well, act like we didn’t hear that? We act like we didn’t hear that man say that? That man said that. It’s a rap. We gonna walk, all the people. Jay-Z said it best. For the other candidates, I just gracefully suggest y’all bow out—Trump and Biden, gracefully bow out. It’s God’s country, we are doing everything in service to God, nobody but God no more. I am in service of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, and I put everything I get on the line to serve God.”
ON DEVELOPING POLICIES
“I don’t know if I would use the word policy for the way I would approach things. I don’t have a policy when I went to Nike and designed Yeezy and went to Louis and designed a Louis Vuitton at the same time. It wasn’t a policy, it was a design. We need to innovate the design to be able to free the mind at this time.”
ON THE WAKANDA MANAGEMENT MODEL
“A lot of Africans do not like the movie [Black Panther] and representation of themselves in…Wakanda. But I’m gonna use the framework of Wakanda right now because it’s the best explanation of what our design group is going to feel like in the White House…That is a positive idea: you got Kanye West, one of the most powerful humans—I’m not saying the most because you got a lot of alien level superpowers and it’s only collectively that we can set it free. Let’s get back to Wakanda… like in the movie in Wakanda when the king went to visit that lead scientist to have the shoes wrap around her shoes. Just the amount of innovation that can happen, the amount of innovation in medicine—like big pharma—we are going to work, innovate, together.This is not going to be some Nipsey Hussle being murdered, they’re doing a documentary, we have so many soldiers that die for our freedom, our freedom of information, that there is a cure for AIDS out there, there is going to be a mix of big pharma and holistic.”
ON PRAYER IN SCHOOLS
“Reinstate in God’s state, in God’s country, the fear and love of God in all schools and organizations and you chill the fear and love of everything else, so that was a plan by the Devil to have our kids committing suicide at an all-time high by removing God to have murders in Chicago at an all-time high because the human beings working for the Devil removed God and prayer from the schools. That means more drugs, more murders, more suicide.”
“I haven’t done enough research on that yet. I will research that with the strongest experts that serve God and come back with the best solution. And that will be my answer for anything that I haven’t researched. I have the earplug in and I’m going to use that earplug.”
“When I become president—let me make some promises—the NBA will open all the way back up from Nigeria to Nanchang and the world will see the greatest athletes play. The world will experience the change in their element. The money is gonna come back. I love China. I love China. It’s not China’s fault that disease. It’s not the Chinese people’s fault. They’re God’s people also. I love China. It changed my life. It changed my perspective, it gave me such a wide perspective. My mom as an English professor taught English in China when I was in 5th grade.”
ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
“Thou shalt not kill. I’m against the death penalty.”
ON POLICE KILLINGS
One of my to-do lists is to end police brutality. The police are people too. To end laws that don’t make sense.Like, in the George Floyd case, there was a Black guy that went to jail and it was his first day on the force. So if it’s your first day on the force and it’s your training day, and this OG accredited cop with 18 violations already starts filing out, are you going to jump in front of that person and lose your job that same day? Especially in this climate when 40,000 people lost their jobs? This man was put in a position where—and also he probably didn’t realize that the cop was going to take it that far, he probably was so scared, in shock, paralyzed, like so many Black people. I’m one of the few Black people that would speak openly like this.
ON HIS OTHER PRIORITIES
“Clean up the chemicals. In our deodorant, in our toothpaste, there are chemicals that affect our ability to be of service to God.”
ON HIS CAMPAIGN SLOGAN
“Well my second album is called Late Registration. I got a rap … The other thing is, my campaign is Kanye West YES, not YEP, not YEAH. YES. YES. YES… When I’m president, let’s also have some fun. Let’s get past all the racism conversation, let’s empower people with 40 acres and a mule, let’s give some land, that’s the plan.”
On Saturday, just four months before the 2020 election, musician, provocateur and former ardent Donald Trump supporter Kanye West tweeted that he was launching his own bid to become president.
“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION,” West wrote on Independence Day.
His tweet was boosted by his wife, reality star and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian, and was endorsed by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Fellow artists like rapper 2Chainz griped that he’s upset he voted in Georgia’s primary elections, implying that he’d rather have waited to cast his ballot for West, but that won’t be possible in many states where deadlines have already passed for names to be added to preprinted voting forms.
So far, however, there’s little indication that West intends to follow through with his campaign announcement. No official FEC filing has been made under West’s name this year (back in 2015, however, a parody filing was made by Kanye “Deez Nuts” West).
In 2020, West would be forced to run as an independent, as Joe Biden has already become the presumptive Democratic nominee and Republicans are unlikely to substitute him for Trump. Deadlines to appear on several states ballots as an independent are also quickly approaching, and the chance to run in six major states, including delegate-rich Texas and New York, have already passed. West would have to assemble a campaign and file paperwork at breakneck speed to even be considered a viable candidate in the most traditional sense.
Of course, a West win could be possible (though, again, highly improbable) through a series of grassroots, write-in-ballots, which is more pie-in-the-sky thought exercise than anything else.
Making his prospects even dimmer, write-in ballots aren’t even possible in eight states, and even if he were able to win the popular vote in other states, he would have had to file before Election Day with many other states for it to matter.
So what’s West’s ploy, then? Is his last-minute campaign a bid to peel votes away from Biden? Or is the whole endeavor simply a PR stunt?
West has always found his way into presidential politics. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, West declared live on television controversially that “George W. Bush doesn’t care about Black people.” West spoke openly about what he believed to be the president’s failure to reach ailing Black families in Louisiana in the aftermath of the deadly storm.
After West interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, President Obama called him a “jackass.”
In 2012, West accused Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of not paying his taxes.
In 2018, West made fresh waves by coming out in support of Trump, calling the Republican president “his brother” who he said possesses “dragon energy.” In 2019 his defense of Trump became much sharper, accusing Democrats of controlling the Black community and teasing his own future run with a simple “2024.”
West and wife Kardashian helped promote criminal justice reform legislation and have visited the White House on a handful of occasions.
The Biden campaign has yet to make any public comment about West’s announcement to run for president. When asked for comment by ABC News, the Trump campaign simply said: “God bless America.”
Kanye West’s displays of affection are never understated. The multihyphenate music mogul recently showered his wife, Kim Kardashian West, with love by outfitting their minimalist Hidden Hills mansion’s bathroom with a colorful display of fresh florals. Kardashian West excitedly shared a glimpse of the surprise with her fans via Instagram Stories Tuesday, telling followers that she had come home to find her “whole bathroom…decorated like an enchanted forest.”
In video clips she shared to social media, there appear to be at least one dozen different bouquets of various flowers and plants in muted shades of pink, purple, blue, and green springing up from the large stone bathtub. “It’s so beautiful, and visually pretty,” she says in one Instagram Stories clip, adding that she thought it was “so sweet of [her] husband.” Nestled among the blooms are what appear to be several different kinds of grasses, and even a tall tree with silver-hued leaves.
Though neither West nor Kardashian West explicitly named the reason for the sweet gesture, it is most likely in response to an announcement earlier this week, that a 20% stake of Kardashian West’s KKW Beauty company had been acquired by beauty conglomerate Coty for $200 million, essentially valuing the reality star’s cosmetics and fragrance business at $1 billion. On Monday, West took to Twitter to publicly congratulate her for the business deal. “I am so proud of my beautiful wife Kim Kardashian West for officially becoming a billionaire,” wrote the “Wash Us in the Blood” rapper. “You’ve weathered the craziest storms and now God is shining on you and our family.”
The bathroom West decked out is in the couple’s $60 million Axel Vervoordt–designed mansion. The space has drawn particular interest from fans in recent years, after Kardashian West showed off its unique basin-less sinks. During an interview with David Letterman last June, the late-night host joked that he would consider moving into the bathroom “at a modest rent,” to which West replied, “You can just rent out our bathtub.”