(CBS) – Kanye West kicked off his first presidential campaign event in North Charleston, South Carolina, Sunday evening, a day before the state’s deadline to file signatures as an independent candidate.
The rapper appeared shortly after 5 p.m. at the Exquis Event Center rally with the numbers “2020” in his hair.
West invited a couple of young women from the audience to speak on stage about issues that concerned them, such as education inequity and police brutality. He then launched into a speech that touched on a wide range of topics, from his battle with opioids to his business dealings with Adidas, before elaborating on his pro-life stance.
He broke into tears talking about what he said was his father’s desire to abort him, and his wife having their first child “even when I didn’t want to.”
“I almost killed my daughter. I love my daughter. … God wants us to create,” said West, who has four children with Kim Kardashian West.
“No more Plan B — Plan A,” he said, to a mixed response from the audience.
West clarified that he thinks abortion should be legal, but that there should be more support for those who need it.
“The maximum increase would be everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars or something in that range,” said West.
West also said that marijuana “should be free” and took questions from the audience before the hour-long event ended.
South Carolina requires 10,000 signatures to get on the presidential ballot as an independent candidate. Due to a state of emergency resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the state’s deadline for submitting signatures was moved back from last Wednesday to Monday, July 20, clearing the way for West’s Sunday event.
On Saturday, West had tweeted for supporters to “please sign up to put me on the ballot in South Carolina.” The state does not allow write-in candidates on the ballot.