Washington, July 19 (efe-epa).- American rapper Kanye West officially launched his United States presidential campaign on Sunday in a South Carolina rally where he spoke at length against abortion and pornography and promised to give $1 million to “everybody that has a baby”.
The 43-year-old African-American musician, who, according to Forbes magazine, is the highest-paid star in 2020, had announced earlier this month that he would be running for the November presidential election after having supported President Donald Trump’s reelection bid.
Dressed in a bulletproof military-style vest and “2020” shaved into the back of his head, the rapper appeared on stage, giving a disjointed speech to hundreds of people, who wore masks to protect themselves from possible Covid-19 infection
West broke down in tears as he spoke about abortion during his lengthy speech and recalled how his father nearly got him aborted by terminating his mother’s pregnancy when he was in her womb.
He said he also wanted to do the same when his wife, Kim Kardashian West, was having their first child “when I didn’t want to.”
“I almost killed my daughter. I love my daughter. God wants us to create,” said West, the father of four children with Kim Kardashian.
The rapper said he believed abortion should be legal but proposed something called a “maximum increase”.
“No more plan B, plan A,” he thundered.
“The maximum increase would be everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars or something in that range.”
West sparked controversy when he spoke about the celebrated African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who participated in a clandestine network in the 19th century to free dozens of blacks from the US.
“Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves. She just had the slaves go work for other white people,” he said.
An African-American Twitter user, identified as Toe Knee, captured that moment on a video from the rally and posted it online.
“Kanye said this and I left immediately. I went for a laugh and I got one. But when it got disrespectful, for me it was over.”
The winner of 21 Grammys also spoke out against increased gun control. He claimed that “shooting pistols is a fun” and that if people stopped having guns, other countries could invade the US and “enslave” its people.
West would be contesting as an independent candidate. He registered on the Oklahoma state ballots this month, and his stop in South Carolina aimed to collect signatures to compete in that territory as well.
West registered his election campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission last week, naming his party BDY, short for “Birthday Party”.
He told Forbes that “when I win (the presidential bid) it will be everyone’s birthday.”
It is unclear what future the rapper’s campaign may have.
He made his presidential bid to challenge Trump and his likely Democratic rival, Joe Biden, even as he had been a strong supporter of Trump and his idea of politics.
He and his wife Trump in 2018 during a meeting at the White House to discuss violence and the prison system in the US.