Kanye West kicked off his presidential campaign in earnest Sunday night, holding his first rally ever. At the South Carolina event, which the AP reports was attended by several hundred people, the rapper discussed, among other things, his problems with Harriet Tubman, his ideas for how to discourage abortions, and one particular story that he said might lead wife Kim Kardashian West to divorce him. TMZ calls the rally, held at North Charleston's Exquis Event Center, "chaotic," "unorganized," "rowdy," and a "train wreck," noting West had no podium or microphone and "rambled," sometimes "incoherently." He wore a protective vest and had "2020" shaved into his hair. Highlights:
- On Tubman: The Underground Slave conductor "never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people," West declared, prompting "jeers" from some in the audience.
- On abortion: West said he believes a woman has the right to choose and the practice should be legal, but suggested financial incentives could be used to discourage abortions. "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 moms to not have a village, to not have a child." But he also said, per Fox News, "No more Plan B—Plan A," referencing the Plan B emergency contraceptive.
- On the aforementioned d-word: While discussing abortion, West mentioned that before he and Kardashian wed, she told him she was pregnant and wasn't sure she wanted to have the baby. He similarly wasn't sure, he told the crowd, and sobbed as he recounted how this reminded him of his own father, who apparently didn't want Donda West to go through with her pregnancy with Kanye. "I almost killed my daughter! I almost killed my daughter!" West said, per the Guardian. He said Kardashian might want to divorce him for sharing such a personal story.
- So, is he actually running? West told the crowd he doesn't care if he wins the presidency or not, and the AP notes, "Whether he is actually seeking the nation's highest office remains a question." He's already missed the filing deadline to be on the ballot in several states.
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