Kanye West, who declared his presidential ambition recently, has said in an interview with Forbes that he will be anti-abortion, and keen to return “fear and love of God” to education.
He also expressed scepticism about a Covid-19 vaccine.
he announced that he would run under the banner of the Birthday party, “because when we win it’s everybody’s birthday”. His campaign slogan is a leaner version of Barack Obama’s “Yes we can” message, reading simply “YES”.
West has missed the deadline to appear on the ballot in a number of states, but he argued that he could be added as a latecomer due to the coronavirus.
He said he was “going to speak with Jared Kushner, the White House, with Biden” to make his bid a reality – although he was also critical of the presumptive Democratic nominee.
He said: “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’s campaign advisers are his wife, the TV star Kim Kardashian-West, and the Tesla founder Elon Musk, both of whom have endorsed him. Speaking about Musk, West said: “I proposed to him to be the head of our space programme.”
West said that if he were to win – either in 2020 or 2024, the year in which he previously hinted he would run – it would be “God’s appointment”. He praised Donald Trump as “the closest president we’ve had in years to allowing God to still be part of the conversation”.
West has previously voiced support for Trump and worn one of Trump’s trademark Make America Great Again caps when he met the president in the Oval Office. “One of the main reasons I wore the red hat [was] as a protest to the segregation of votes in the black community,” West said. “Other than the fact that I like Trump hotels and the saxophones in the lobby.”
Regarding the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, he said: “It’s so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralysed … So when they say the way we’re going to fix covid is with a vaccine, I’m extremely cautious. That’s the mark of the beast.
“They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things to make it where we can’t cross the gates of heaven.”
West added that Covid-19 was “all about God. We need to stop doing things that make God mad.”
He said he may have contracted the disease in February: “Chills, shaking in the bed, taking hot showers, looking at videos telling me what I’m supposed to do to get over it.”
He said he intended to end police brutality, but added that “the police are people, too”. He said he opposes the death penalty and is “pro-life because I’m following the word of the Bible”.
On education, he said he wanted to reinstate “the fear and love of God in all schools and organisations” and criticised Black History Month as “torture porn”. He added: “The schools, the infrastructure, was made for us to not truly be all we can be, but to be just good enough to work for the corporations that designed the school systems. We’re tearing that up … we’re not going to tear up the constitution; what we will do is amend.”
West’s bid has been criticised in some quarters as a distraction that could harm Biden’s campaign. West said it was “a form of racism and white supremacy and white control to say that all black people need to be Democrat and to assume that me running is me splitting the vote”.
West is also preparing to release his 10th studio album, God’s Country. He released the first single from the record last week, Wash Us in the Blood. He told Forbes: “I give my album away for free,” but did not elaborate.