There’s been no shortage of speculation about the bizarre, sometimes troubling presidential campaign Kanye West is mounting for 2020. From lengthy, freewheeling rants to some strange policy proposals to very public tension with his wife Kim Kardashian-West, the West 2020 bid has been a media free-for-all, sparking conversations about mental health and celebrity. And now, it also looks like it might be, at least in part, a Republican plot to sabotage Joe Biden’s chances in key states like Ohio and Wisconsin.
This week, reports from CNN, New York, the New York Times all surfaced indicating that the last-ditch efforts to get West’s name on state ballots were arranged by GOP and Trump-affiliated operatives, even though West is ostensibly running against the incumbent as an Independent. This sparked speculation that instead of a sincere bid for the White House, Republican operatives were attempting to use West’s bid to peel voters away from Biden in some states.
Now, West seems to have indicated to Forbes that such speculation is warranted. In a text message exchange, West would not deny that he was running to spoil Biden’s campaign. He would only say that he wasn’t running for President — he was “walking.” He added that he was “walking …to win.” Here’s how Forbes had it:
Amid various reports that Republican and Trump-affiliated political operatives are trying to get Kanye West onto various state ballots for November’s presidential election, the billionaire rap superstar indicated, in an interview by text today, that he was in fact running to siphon votes from the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden.
Asked about that directly, West said that rather than running for president, he was “walking,” quickly adding that he was “walking . . . to win.”
When the reporter pointed out that West will not be on enough ballots to secure the necessary electoral votes for an actual win, West responded: “I’m not going to argue with you. Jesus is King.”
Forbes says West “rebuffed” questions about whether or not Republicans were helping get his name on ballots, but he did confirm that he still has a good relationship with the current administration, saying he’s “meeting with Betsy DeVos about the post-COVID curriculum.” Trump himself told reporters that “I like Kanye very much,” but denied that he had anything to do with “getting him on the ballot.”
One of the operatives involved in West’s operation has been previously arrested for voter fraud. Of West’s 18 electors in Cincinnati, Ohio, six are listed at the same Cleveland address. Four are from the same Lakewood address.
Forbes says that West’s texts from earlier this summer would frequently end with “Trump 2020.”