COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Kanye West’s first political rally since declaring himself a presidential candidate raised eyebrows after video clips from the event, including a moment where West burst into tears during a dramatic speech on abortion, began circulating on social media.
West delivered a lengthy speech at the event on Sunday, touching on topics from abortion and religion to international trade and licensing deals, before a crowd in North Charleston, South Carolina.
In an hour-long question-and-answer session, West’s longest monologues were reserved for the issue of abortion.
On abortion, West said that while he believes it 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.
“My mom saved my life," an increasingly emotional West said. "There would have been no Kanye West, because my dad was too busy."
In the video, West begins to cry while saying, “I almost killed my daughter!” Later, West goes on to suggest that people should not give up their guns as that would enable them to become “enslaved” by foreign powers.
Separate video from the same event surfaced on Twitter showing West ranting against historical figure Harriet Tubman, saying the Underground Railroad conductor “never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people” — comments that drew shouts of opposition from some in the crowd.
West missed the deadline to qualify for the ballot in several states, and it was unclear if he was willing or able to collect enough signatures required to qualify in others. Last week, he qualified to appear on Oklahoma’s presidential ballot, the first state where he met the requirements before the filing deadline.
On Monday, The Post and Courier reported that West was unable to submit any of the 10,000 petition signatures needed to get his name placed on South Carolina’s 2020 presidential ballot by the July 20 deadline.
West, who is married to reality television star Kim Kardashian West, initially announced his candidacy on July 4.
Storyful and the Associated Press contributed to this story.