Kanye West holds first presidential campaign rally

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD/WJW/AP) — Kanye West held his first presidential campaign rally Sunday evening in South Carolina.

The rally took place at the Exquis Event Center in Charleston at 5 p.m.

Attendees were required to wear face masks and must observe social distancing rules due to the coronavirus pandemic. They were also asked to sign a COVID-19 liability release form.

West, in his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate, delivered a lengthy monologue touching on topics from abortion and religion to international trade and licensing deals. Whether he’s actually seeking the nation’s highest office remains a question.

He said that while he believes abortion should be legal, financial incentives to help struggling mothers could be a way to discourage the practice.

“Everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars,” he said as an example.

Wearing a protective vest and with “2020” shaved into his head, the entertainer spoke before a crowd of what appeared to be several hundred people. Gospel music played before West’s appearance.

This rally came just hours after the rapper took to Twitter asking his fans to get him on the ballot in South Carolina. He included a list of eight venues where they can do this and linked to his political website, kanye2020.country.

West filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission last week.

He listed his party affiliations as “BDY,” meaning West would be running under the “Birthday Party,” US Weekly Magazine reports.

The magazine also claims that West previously said he plans to use the fictional kingdom of Wakanda from the Marvel’s Black Panther as a blueprint for running the White House.

“It’s the best explanation for what our design group is going to feel like in the White House,” West is quoted saying.

He also reportedly supports big-business tax breaks, more stimulus payments and opportunities for minorities and Black people. He also wants a massive education reform and to build world-class infrastructure projects.

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.

The rapper has also secured a spot on Oklahoma’s general election ballot in November.

West needs to collect 10,000 signatures by noon Monday to appear on the South Carolina ballot, according to state law. The entertainer tweeted out a list of locations around the Charleston area where petitions could be signed. Email to an address purportedly associated with the campaign was not returned Sunday afternoon.

West, who is married to reality television star Kim Kardashian West, initially announced his candidacy on July 4.

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