Tech entrepreneur and 2020 presidential hopeful Andrew Yang took the expected amount of usual flak during and after Thursday night’s Democratic primary debate in Houston, Texas, but some of that criticism came from one of his opponents who wasn’t even there.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called Yang out on social media after he called Puerto Rico — an unincorporated United States territory — a “country” in response to a question from one of the debate moderators about the impact of Hurricane Maria and the government’s response to it, according to The Hill.
“We’re not very good at rebuilding countries and if you want proof, all you have to do is look within our own country of Puerto Rico,” Yang erroneously stated.
The mayor didn’t waste any time pointing out Yang’s mistake, as he fired off a tweet shortly after Yang’s remark to give him a quick lesson.
“Note to @AndrewYang: Puerto Rico is in OUR country,” de Blasio wrote.
The New York mayor doubled down on his sudden urge to talk all things Puerto Rico by posting a follow-up tweet that contained a link to an outline of his presidential campaign’s plan to tackle the various issues facing Puerto Rico today and how he would “revitalize” it should he win the White House.
On his campaign’s official website, de Blasio talks extensively about the U.S. territory. “The treatment of the three million American citizens living in Puerto Rico is one of the most overlooked policy failures in America today,” the campaign website says.
Other parts of his plan include sending the country $139 billion over ten years to aide in disaster recovery efforts, a moratorium on the privatization of public assets and to offer incentives for corporations to move their operations to Puerto Rico.
As The Hill reported, New York City is home to the largest population of Puerto Ricans in the United States, with a 2013 census reporting 1.1 million living there.
The mayor was one of several Democratic presidential candidates who failed to meet the thresholds put forth by the Democratic National Committee to appear on Thursday night’s debate stage.
Yang not only beat out de Blasio in fundraising and polling requirements to earn a spot on the debate stage, but he also beat several other sitting politicians with existing name recognition.
As The Inquisitr reported, Yang stunned his fellow Democratic opponents and presumably many people watching the debate by announcing in his opening remarks that he would be offering his “Freedom Dividend” program as a to 10 families across the country as a test run. Any U.S. citizen is eligible to enter the raffle to be one of those selected to receive Yang’s universal basic income of $1,000 per moth for an entire year.