After years of hints, Kanye West formally announced he is running for president this year in a challenge to Trump, who he once supported, and Democratic rival Joe Biden, winning support from his friend and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Rounding off his Fourth of July, West tweeted on Saturday night:
We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States 🇺🇸! #2020VISION— ye (@kanyewest) July 5, 2020
Musk tweeted in response: “You have my full support!”
You have my full support!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 5, 2020
Wife Kim Kardashian also publicly pledged her support, retweeting West’s statement and adding a U.S. flag emoji.
West’s announcement follows years of hints that he would run for office this year which he later postponed to 2024, after publicly declaring at a Fast Company event in 2019: “When I run for president in 2024…We would create so many jobs! I’m not going to run, I’m going to walk.”
But the rapper, who recently inked a 10-year deal with Gap through his Yeezy brand, is reportedly yet to file any paperwork to get on state election ballots, while he has missed the deadline for states including Texas, New York, and Indiana.
It is not known how serious West’s intentions are this time around, however, he still has time to file as an independent candidate across most states, according to Ballotpedia.
West’s declaration was met with skepticism on social media, while some commentators pointed out that it could work out in Trump’s favour.
Kanye West went from endorsing Trump to claiming he’d run against him —an announcement that benefits the president to the degree it spotlights Biden’s need for black voters & his potential weakness with young voters https://t.co/0m4PUO6s6a— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) July 5, 2020
Kanye West isn’t really gonna run for President, but his next album will be called Presidential Dropout— David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) July 5, 2020
West’s declaration suggests the rapper is looking to cement political ambitions he has expressed throughout Trump’s presidency. West previously forged alliances with Trump and was pictured in the Oval Office in 2018 wearing a signature Trump ‘Make America Great Again’ cap. He once called the president his “brother” and previously hit back at criticism towards his support for Trump, likening the backlash to racial discrimination. Although he says he didn’t vote in 2016, West later said he “would have voted for Trump”, and earlier this year doubled down, suggesting he would vote for him in November. But that could very well change given Saturday’s announcement.
West and Musk were pictured together on July 1st, with West tweeting:
When you go to your boys house and you’re both wearing orange 🍊 pic.twitter.com/IyPOdEKaVY— ye (@kanyewest) July 1, 2020