Kanye West insists he’s serious about running for president, detailing his 2020 platform in a new interview with Forbes magazine. The 43-year-old rapper told the publication that he no longer supports President Donald Trump.
“I am taking the red hat off, with this interview” — and won’t vote for Joe Biden. West, who has famously worn a MAGA hat in the White House, still called Trump “special” and the “closest president we’ve had in years to allowing God to still be part of the conversation.”
“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,” West told Forbes.
The Daily Beast reports West appeared to be most concerned with the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It looks like one big mess to me,” West said. “I don’t like that I caught wind that (Trump) hid in the bunker.”
West claimed he contracted Covid-19 in February but opposes vaccines, calling them “the mark of the beast.” His wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, has spoken several times about the family staying at home during the pandemic, but has never said anyone tested positive.
‘Ye offered further details of his 2020 platform, saying he’ll be running as a third party candidate under the Birthday Party “because when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday.” He also told Forbes that Elon Musk is advising him, his campaign slogan will be “YES!” and his running mate will be a preacher named Michelle Tidball.
He said he hasn’t developed a foreign policy yet, but is anti-abortion (”I am pro-life because I’m following the word of the bible”) and pro-Wakanda, the fictional country in Marvel’s “Black Panther.”
“A lot of Africans do not like the movie and representation of themselves in… Wakanda,” he said. “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.”
The hip-hop star also denied that his White House bid is a publicity stunt to promote his upcoming album, promising to give it away for free, or his recently announced fashion collaboration with the Gap.
“Like anything I’ve ever done in my life… I’m doing to win,” West said.
However, Billboard reports West launched his campaign too late to appear on the ballot as an independent candidate in at least six states, including New York and Texas. Political experts told the music publication that third-party candidates typically know they have little chance of winning, but run to draw attention to themselves, or to a cause they believe in.
“To that extent that voters will vote for third-party candidates, given that this is perceived as an important election, even disgruntled voters might not be willing to throw their vote away,” said Robert Y. Shapiro, Wallace S. Sayre Professor of Government and Professor of International and Public Affairs in the Columbia University Department of Political Science.
West told Forbes he doesn’t mind if his campaign takes Black votes away from Biden, a Democrat, because it helps Trump. He also said he accepts that he might not win in November.
“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,” West said. “If I win in 2024 then that was God’s appointment.”