Everything you need to know about Kanye West’s run for president

At the rally, West made some controversial statements about Harriet Tubman  (Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)At the rally, West made some controversial statements about Harriet Tubman  (Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)
At the rally, West made some controversial statements about Harriet Tubman (Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

Following his announcement that he would be running for president, Kanye West has now officially kick-started his campaign for the 2020 presidential election.

The rapper began with an unorthodox rally in Charleston, South Carolina, running as a candidate for his self-proclaimed “birthday party”.

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This is everything you need to know about West’s presidential campaign.

What did Kanye West say at the rally in South Carolina?

West appeared in South Carolina wearing a bulletproof vest and with 2020 shaved into his head, addressing the crowd without a microphone.

The rapper covered topics like abortion, religion and homelessness during the rally, which is available to listen to on YouTube.

Appearing unscripted, the speech often went off on tangents, with West even having long debates with audience members.

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He said that abortion should remain legal, but there should be financial support for new mothers - suggesting that “everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars”.

He said: “It takes a village to raise a child. Society has been set up for single mums not to have a village, to not have a child.”

West also cried when discussing how he was almost aborted by his parents, saying: “There would have been no Kanye West, because my dad was too busy.”

He added: “I almost killed my daughter… even if my wife were to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into the world, even when I didn’t want to.”

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During the rally, West appeared to go on a rant about 19th-century abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

He said: “Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had the slaves go work for other white people.”

His comments about Tubman garnered shouts of disapproval from those in the crowd.

Tubman was born into slavery, but was able to escape aged 27, in 1849. She returned to the South to rescue other slaves on the network of routes and safe houses known as the underground railroad, risking her own life.

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Can Kanye West really run for president?

When West initially announced his plan to run for president, he had already missed the deadline to appear on the ballot in several states.

However, he has qualified to appear on the Oklahoma presidential ballot - the first state where he met the requirements before the deadline.

In order to appear on the South Carolina ballot, West will need to have collected 10,000 signatures by noon local time, which is 6pm on Monday 20 July in the UK.

It’s unclear whether he’ll be able to get enough signatures to qualify for the remaining states he hasn’t already missed the deadline for.

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If West is unable to secure enough signatures to appear on the ballot in other states, Americans could still vote for the musician by writing his name on the ballot sheet, which is called a “write-in candidate”.

The deadline to register as a write-in candidate has also passed in some states, but many extend into August and September.

Many are unsure whether West is genuine about his run for president or whether it is all simply a promotional stunt.

On Saturday, West appeared to tweet a song list for his new album, but has since deleted the tweet.

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Over the weekend, West tweeted out various references to his presidential campaign, including links to websites encouraging people to sign a petition that would allow him to appear on the South Carolina ballot.