The next president should be ‘competent’ and understand the serious issues at hand, the White House correspondent says in response to the rapper’s Oval Office bid.
April Ryan is concerned about Kanye West’s mental health and wants the rapper to “get help” and focus on getting well, not running for president.
The veteran White House correspondent made her comments while sharing her thoughts about the 2020 election in a HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVE interview.
It’s clear that April, 52, doesn’t just have 43-year-old Kanye’s interests at heart. Her major concern is about the country. “Let me be clear, mental illness is real,” she says, referring to the “Gold Digger” star who admitted in a 2019 interview with David Letterman that he has bipolar disorder and doesn’t take medication. “I am not targeting him because he has an issue and he’s not taking his meds.
“But, here’s my thing with Kanye. Kanye wants to be president, or professes he wants to be president. We have allowed someone who has mental limitations already, made all these crazy comments on the campaign trail. People [said], ‘Oh, that’s just him joking’ or ‘That’s him trying to get attention to win.’ That attention turned into reality.”
It’s clear that when she refers to the president with “mental limitations,” April is talking about the current White House occupant, Donald Trump. The 74-year-old New Yorker has been bragging about his mental competency, boasting in a July 10 interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity that he recently “aced” a cognitive test. While critics have questioned his ability to lead, in a January 2018 tweet, he called himself a “stable genius.”
April apparently would beg to differ. “Something’s clearly not right,” she says, going on to add, “Republicans didn’t like him when he ran. No, no, no, no, something’s wrong with, blah, blah, blah, blah. But, guess what? Once he got in they enabled him. This country cannot afford to enable another mentally limited person.”
“This is not just a free for all for any Dick, Jane, Joe or Sally to come into,” says April, who accused the rapper of “only running for news headlines,” in a July 4 tweet. “This is a serious situation. So, I say [Kanye shouldn’t run] because you cannot enable someone who clearly doesn’t have a comprehension of what’s going on. And then you want him to run the United States? The crazy stuff that he said about Harriet Tubman? That’s just one point of proof.”
While Kanye ranted during his July 19 South Carolina political rally that abolitionist Harriet Tubman “never actually freed the slaves,” the country faces life or death issues going into the 2020 election. “Here are the top three, in my opinion,” April says. “Getting COVID down, getting the numbers down and finding a vaccine… And then the economy. We are in a recession, trying to stave off a depression. Some communities are in a depression. Unemployment. Politics is personal. And then the race issue, and policing. It’s in the top five.”
Kanye did not qualify to get on the South Carolina presidential ballot in time but, had he been successful, April says that he could have had a real impact on the results on Nov. 3. “If Kanye got [on] he could have messed with the electoral college numbers,” she says. “So this is serious. This is beyond, oh he and Kim [Kardashian] are having some troubles and he’s not taking his meds. He’s now trying to get into a situation that could affect the electoral process.”
Speaking of his mental health specifically, April says, “That is a problem. As a human being, and my humanity, I pray he gets help.” The CNN political analyst praises Kanye’s family and friends for offering him support. “I love to see Dave Chappelle and all of them, even his wife, rallying around him for an intervention, because he needs help,” she says. “He needs help. That is one thing. But, to run for president and try to get on the ballot is another, when you’re mentally not well. This is not a joke. People’s lives are at stake. There’s too much at stake to play these games.”