Third party presidential candidate Cornel West told President Biden to “get off the crack pipe,” during his first interview since announcing his run for office.
The 70-year-old announced his bid for Biden’s job on Twitter on Monday. He is a former professor at Harvard and Princeton and currently the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary.
I am running for truth and justice as a presidential candidate for the People’s Party to reintroduce America to the best of itself – fighting to end poverty, mass incarceration, ending wars and ecological collapse, guaranteeing housing, health care, education and living wages for… pic.twitter.com/u3NYGUbG1S
— Cornel West (@CornelWest) June 5, 2023
The progressive activist is running as a member of the People’s Party. In his campaign platform he calls for Medicare for all, protection of abortion access, and student debt forgiveness.
“I am running for truth and justice and as a candidate for president of the United States in the People’s Party,” West says on his campaign site. “I want to reintroduce America to the best of itself – the dignity, courage, and creativity of precious everyday people. Join our movement for priceless poor and working people of all colors here and abroad.”
West made his first post-announcement appearance on KBLA’s Tavis Smiley’s podcast. He said many Americans are being disenfranchised and aren’t being listened to by Democrat elites.
“If the Democrats are putting out mediocre, milquetoast, neoliberal politicians who can’t say a mumbling word about militarism, can’t say a mumbling word about a serious response to poverty, can’t say a mumbling word about serious white supremacist practices — I mean, Biden himself said America is not a racist society. I said, ‘Get off the crack pipe,’” West said.
West is referencing a speech Biden made in his one hundredth day in office in which he said the American people aren’t racist, but black Americans are still suffering the consequences of Jim Crow laws and slavery.
Kellyanne Conway said on Fox that West’s bid for the presidency could take votes away from Biden.
“He’s going to make a play for people who feel forgotten, who feel abandoned by this Democratic Party, who feel like nobody’s listening to them and including them,” Conway said. “It’s part of how Trump won in 2016, but I think he could do it from the left.”