×

Wyclef Jean Warns Democrats: ‘Trump Can be Re-Elected’

Wyclef Jean, the actor and rapper who performed the 2016 song “If I Was President,” is no stranger to politics, after trying to run for president of his native Haiti in 2010. At Cannes Lions, the annual advertising conference in the South of France, Jean talked about the future of music but his conversation with Variety also included him handicapping the 2020 presidential race.

“So Wyclef’s views on politics, if I was probably giving advice, I would really say to both parties, health care is very important,” Jean said. “And then you really have to look … I was a college student. We have to figure this thing out because you go to school and then you end up spending half of your life paying for the school. Something has to be wrong.”

Jean then broke down his playbook for the Democrats. “Of course, the economy is very important,” he said, as he advises that the Democrats focus on what they are going to do in office. “Remember, quote me on this, if the strategy is to take [President Donal] Trump head on with a verbal match of you say one thing, I’m going to say one thing, you have lost the match already because he’s the kid in the cafeteria—you got one [insult], he got one, and he’s constantly go back with you.”

Does he think Trump could sit in the Oval Office for another four years? “Trump can be re-elected if the Democrats don’t get it together,” Jean says. “If the Democrats get it together, there is a possibility that they could take the election.”

He’s not sure who he’ll support for 2020 yet. “It’s too early to tell,” Jean said. “I like the young people. I think the young people push. I think some people in the Democratic Party are scared of them.”

And what about the early Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, who is 76? “So let’s talk about Joe Biden for a second,” Jean said. “We had President [Barack] Obama. And we’ve seen Joe Biden as a candidate. I think that there are a lot of things that Mr. Biden’s going to have to do, because we’re sort of like in a new climate, we’re in a new environment. You see, the thing about politics, it’s different than rock and roll.” By that, he means too many years on the job could mean too much baggage.

“If I was playing chess, I would say Joe Biden’s strong point in this is going to be what’s the VP look like? What I loved about Obama was like, ‘Okay, well maybe there’s parts I don’t know, so I’ll get a senior in that sense to rock out.’ So I think, in my humble opinion, there has to be a revolution of some sort with the youth, galvanizing the youth. Who is galvanizing the youth?”

The Variety Studio at Cannes is presented by Inscape & iSpot.TV.

More Politics

  • Department of Justice

    DOJ Announces Antitrust Review of Tech Giants

    In a move that could potentially disrupt Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, the U.S. Justice Department announced that its antitrust division opened a review into “whether and how market-leading online platforms have achieved market power.” The DOJ, in its announcement Tuesday, didn’t identify which companies it is looking into as part of the investigation. Facebook, Amazon, Google [...]

  • Boris Johnson leaves a property in

    Former London Mayor Boris Johnson to Become New British Prime Minister

    Boris Johnson is set to become Britain’s new prime minister, delighting fans of the colorful former mayor of London but dismaying critics who fear that he is intent on pulling the country out of the European Union without a deal in place. Despite being dismissed by detractors as a buffoon, Johnson will take the reins [...]

  • Portrait of author and writer Paul

    Paul Krassner, Satirist, Yippies Co-Founder and Counter-Culture Figure, Dies at 87

    Satirist, publisher, author and American counter-culture figure Paul Krassner died at his home in Desert Hot Springs, California on July 21. He was 87. His daughter Holly Krassner Dawson, confirmed the news to the Associated Press. Born in New York City on April 9, 1932, Krassner eventually moved to Southern California where he lived with [...]

  • Kamala Harris

    Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Face Rematch in Next Democratic Debate

    Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris will have the opportunity to square off again in the second debate among Democratic hopefuls vying for their party’s nomination in the 2020 presidential election CNN, which will broadcast the next round of debates on July 30 and 31, televised a draw Thursday night that decided [...]

  • Jennifer Aniston and Tig Notaro Donate

    Jennifer Aniston and Tig Notaro Join Hollywood's Buttigieg Bandwagon

    Pete Buttigieg has built a devoted following in Hollywood over the last few months, helping him lead the Democratic field in fundraising for the second quarter. In a filing released Monday night, Buttigieg disclosed contributions from a bunch of bold-faced names, including Jennifer Aniston, Tig Notaro and Larry David. Buttigieg held numerous fundraisers in the [...]

  • Mary Bailey Steve D'Angelo, Jim Belushi

    Cannabis Industry Tackles Justice Reform With 'Last Prisoner Project'

    Jim Belushi is standing two feet away in the backyard of his spacious Brentwood home, honking a harp like he’s a Blues Brother back in sweet home Chicago accompanied by noted reggae band Rebelution’s Eric Rachmany and Kyle Ahern, who provide a 12-bar shuffle. There’s the sweet smell of skunk — and success — hanging [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content