Kanye West launches US presidential campaign with an emotional rally
United States rapper and fashion designer Kanye West broke down in tears on Sunday at a rally to launch his surprise campaign for November’s presidential elections.
Wearing a bullet-proof jacket marked “security” and with 2020 shaved onto the back of his head, 43-year-old West gave an hour-long rambling speech in which he ranted about abortion and pornography and argued policy with attendees.
West told the audience at a wedding and convention venue in Charleston, South Carolina, how he had wanted his wife, Kim Kardashian, to get an abortion when she was pregnant with North, their oldest daughter. He then revealed his father also had wanted to abort him.
“My dad wanted to abort me. My mum saved my life. There would’ve been no Kanye West because my dad was too busy,” West said, bursting into tears.
He later shouted, “I almost killed my daughter! I almost killed my daughter!”
Rapper Kanye West started crying in a rambling rally to launch his presidential campaign that left many concerned for his health [Randall Hill/Reuters]
West often appeared to be putting forward policy proposals on the fly and made comments that left even those in attendance muttering in disbelief.
“Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had the slaves go work for other white people,” he said at one point when he was talking about economic inequality.
Former Trump supporter
West’s speech was live-streamed on YouTube and clips later went viral on social media, provoking confusion, anger, and concern for the musician’s mental health.
The event was for registered guests only, and all attendees were required to sign a COVID-19 liability release form as well as wear masks and practice social distancing, US media reported.
West announced his plan to challenge for the presidency in a tweet on July 4.
He has offered virtually no details about his campaign, but the hip-hop star – who famously wore a “Make America Great Again” cap to a 2018 Oval Office meeting with incumbent President Donald Trump – said he no longer supports the president.
Kanye West met President Trump in the White House last October but says he no longer supports him [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]
West has missed the deadline in several ket states to be listed on the presidential ballot, although his name has been listed on the ballot in Oklahoma.