Rapper Kanye West has opened up about his decision to run for President of the United States, saying that God called him to seek the highest political office in America.
In a wide-ranging interview, West, 43, told Forbes magazine that he would seek out the Republican nomination if President Donald Trump unexpectedly dropped out. If not, he will run as an independent. Kanye said his party will be called 'The Birthday Party' “because when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday".
His chosen running mate is Wyoming-based pastor and life coach, Michelle Tidball.
While Kanye had previously touted a run for President in 2024, he says that God will decide if it's the right time to "appoint" him to the Oval Office earlier. “Let’s see if the appointing is at 2020 or if it’s 2024—because God appoints the president," he said. "If I win in 2020 then it was God’s appointment. If I win in 2024 then that was God’s appointment.
“God just gave me the clarity and said it’s time."
On the coronavirus, he said: “We pray. We pray for the freedom. It’s all about God. We need to stop doing things that make God mad.”
However, Kanye appeared much less keen on the development of a vaccine, insisting that "children that are being vaccinated and [being] paralysed".
"When they say the way we’re going to fix Covid is with a vaccine, I’m extremely cautious," he added. "That’s the mark of the beast." West went on to say that "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".
When asked about his position on abortion, the rapper said he was pro-life because he is "following the word of the Bible.” Kanye also said he was firmly opposed to capital punishment, even quoting scripture to back up his case: “Thou shalt not kill. I’m against the death penalty," he declared.
The multi-award-winning artist, who released a single called 'Wash Us In The Blood' at the end of last month, also insisted that God had already started bringing reconciliation to the nation following the death of George Floyd. “Well, God has already started the healing. This conversation alone is healing and revealing. We all need to start praying and kneeling…" he explained.
Kanye also said he wanted to see prayer being reintroduced to America's schooling system. He argued: "Reinstate in God’s state, in God’s country, the fear and love of God in all schools and organisations and you chill the fear and love of everything else, so that was a plan by the Devil to have our kids committing suicide at an all-time high by removing God to have murders in Chicago at an all-time high because the human beings working for the Devil removed God and prayer from the schools. That means more drugs, more murders, more suicide.”
He said that his political priorities include cleaning up the chemicals "in our deodorant, in our toothpaste" because they "affect our ability to be of service to God". On various other policy issues, Kanye said he would instruct the "strongest experts that serve God" to "come back with the best solution".