Amid many candidates dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary, long-shot John Delaney remains in the race as the Iowa caucuses draw near. Although RealClearPolitics puts him at 0.2 percent in average polling, he recently stirred the pot on Twitter when he implied that fellow candidate Andrew Yang copied his ideas.
Delaney — who has been frequently trolled by Mike Gravel during his time in the race — noted the similarity between Yang's recent description of Donald Trump being a "symptom of a greater disease" that must be cured and his own similar comment that Trump as a "symptom" of the "disease of divisiveness."
Yang supporters quickly ratioed Delaney's comment, noting that the 44-year-old serial entrepreneur has been talking about Trump as a symptom of a more significant underlying problem in the United States since at least 2018, when his book, The War on Normal People, was released.
In Yang's book, he describes the president as a symptom of the economic despair caused by the increasing automation of the economy, pointing in particular to the loss of manufacturing jobs in swing states that led Trump to victory in 2016.
Yang has repeated these sentiments on many occasions, per RealClearPolitics.
"Well, Jon, to me it's clear the reason why Donald Trump is our president today is that we automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs that were primarily based in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Iowa, the swing states he needed to win," Yang said during an ABC News interview in December.
He added that similar automation-driven loss will soon happen to fast food, retail, call center, and truck driving jobs.Delaney's comment comes from the second Democratic presidential debate in July of 2019 — although this is not visible in his recent screenshot of the quote. One of Yang's supporters pointed to the candidate's similar comments in a clip posted to Twitter from two months before the second debate, and noted Delaney's curious decision to remove the timestamp from his tweet.
Another Yang supporter noted that Delany differs in his diagnosis of the problem Trump is purportedly a symptom of.
"Yang does not say the disease is 'divisiveness.' He says it is an economy that is leaving more and more of us behind because of automation. Divisiveness, intolerance is actually a symptom of economic stress. So you're the one still trying to solve a symptom Mr. Delaney."Others pointed out that Delaney previously noted on Twitter that he was reading Yang's book, and they accused him of getting his ideas from Yang.