After reports that Kanye West‘s presidential run is being backed by Republicans as a way to spoil votes for Joe Biden, his recent meeting with Jared Kushner further puts a spotlight on the rapper.
According to The New York Times, Kushner and West met privately last weekend. The Donald Trump adviser and the rap mogul linked up in Colorado, where Kushner was traveling with his wife, Ivanka Trump. Those familiar with the meeting told The Times that West had been camping in Colorado with his family and afterwards, he flew to Telluride to connect with Kushner and Ms. Trump. Kanye was not accompanied by his wife, Kim Kardashian West, according to the people knowledgeable about the meeting.
West tweeted on Tuesday evening, “I’m willing to do a live interview with the New York Time about my meeting with Jared,” adding that they talked about a book concerning Black empowerment called “PowerNomics” by Dr. Claud Anderson. In a short follow-up interview with The Times, Kanye didn’t expand on what Kushner and him talked about. Instead, he communicated his anger about abortion rates among Black women and said that he didn’t reflexively support Democrats.
West’s meeting follows a recent interview with Forbes where he criticized Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. West didn’t deny that he is working to take votes away from Biden by attempting to get his name on several ballots in states like Colorado. Currently his signature petitions in Wisconsin are being challenged as possibly having bogus signatures, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Meanwhile, West is tanking amongst Black voters, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll. His support from Black voters is only at 2 percent according to the poll. He garnered 2 percent support overall among registered voters.
Strategists is both the Republican and Democratic party told POLITICO that they don’t yet see West as a factor in the presidential race.
“The bottom line is that Kanye West is an entertainer. That’s not to say that he can’t participate in electoral politics, but his candidacy is more a distraction,” explained Derrick Clay, an Ohio-based strategist and chair of the state’s Legislative Black Caucus Foundation. Clay said that certain Republican’s support of Kanye is a reflection of their fear of the millennial and suburban vote, two groups that are polling well for Biden. “I think that strategy is going to backfire on them,” Clay said.
According to The New York Times, people like Lane Ruhland (a lawyer who has worked for the Trump campaign and Mark Jaboky (an executive who’s work for the California Republican Party) have been helping Kanye with his signature collections to get on state ballots. Jaboky was arrested on voter fraud charges in 2008 when he was working for the California Republican Party, and he eventually plead guilty to a misdemeanor.
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