Watch: Rapper Kanye West draws crowd to 1st event as candidate

Posted at 7:35 PM, Jul 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-19 19:35:49-04

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Kanye West brought his offbeat presidential bid to South Carolina Sunday. But whether he’s actually seeking the nation’s highest office remains a question.

It was his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate and he delivered a lengthy monologue, touching on topics from abortion and religion to international trade and licensing deals.

West said that while he believes abortion should be legal, financial incentives to help struggling mothers could be a way to discourage the practice. Wearing a protective vest and with “2020” shaved into his head, the entertainer spoke before a crowd of hundreds in North Charleston, South Carolina.

AP reports the event was reportedly for registered guests only, although a campaign website had no registration or RSVP information.

Speaking without a microphone, West became tearful at one point while talking about his mother, who died following plastic surgery complications in 2007.

West has missed the deadline to qualify for the ballot in several states, and it’s unclear if he is willing or able to collect enough signatures required to qualify in others. Last week, he qualified to appear on Oklahoma’s presidential ballot, the first state where he met the requirements before the filing deadline.

West needs to collect 10,000 signatures by noon Monday to appear on the South Carolina ballot, according to state law.