ST. LOUIS- With less than a month to go before the Nov. 8 midterm elections, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West has become an issue in Missouri’s U.S. Senate race.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, the Republican nominee for the Senate, tweeted Tuesday night that “America needs a @kanyewest @KidRock tour,” which drew criticism online from those who saw it as supporting anti-semitism. Schmitt deleted the tweet, which came from his personal account.
West, now known as Ye, was locked out of Twitter and Instagram over antisemetic posts that the social networks said Sunday violated their policies. In one post on Twitter, Ye said he would soon go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” according to internet archive records, making an apparent reference to the U.S. defense readiness condition scale known as DEFCON.
“You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda,” Ye said in the same tweet posted late Saturday, which was removed by Twitter.
Schmitt’s campaign released a statement from the candidate Wednesday morning.
“Regarding my tweet on Ye and Kid Rock: I like their music. Typically, they’re against the privileged elites like my opponent The Heiress. But, I don’t condone everything they say,” he said, adding that he was referring to a Ye interview with Tucker Carlson about “left wing hypocrisy” and wasn’t aware of the “recent comments.”
The statement did not explain why Schmitt’s tweet was deleted, or offer specific reaction to the rapper’s most recent comments.
Schmitt also accused his opponent, Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine, of embracing support from U.S. Rep. Cori Bush D-St. Louis, who has been critical of Israel on issues related to Palestine.
Busch Valentine, seized on the controversy Tuesday night, saying on Twitter “It reveals a great deal about Eric Schmitt’s character that tonight he is openly embracing those who spew vile antisemitism. This is both dangerous and appalling. Missouri deserves so much better.”
Recent polls show Schmitt with an 11-point edge over Busch Valentine in the race to succeed Roy Blunt in the Senate. The two candidates have failed to agree on a general election debate.