After last night’s Democratic presidential debate, candidate Andrew Yang spoke to reporters afterward and was questioned about what he’s hearing from voters about the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump. The issue has dominated the political news cycle, and according to a tweet by CBS News campaign reporter Musadiq Bidar, it took up 14 minutes of time in the Tuesday debate.
Despite the media focus on impeachment, Yang suggests his supporters aren’t very interested.
“I’d say I’ve had maybe a dozen events since impeachment got started, and I have literally received zero questions about impeachment at these town halls around the country. Voters are more focused on the vision we have for them and how we’re going to improve their lives than what’s going on in Washington.”
When Yang was questioned about impeachment during the debate, he voiced support for the process but continued to suggest that it won’t solve any of the problems that got Trump elected. From here, he pivoted to his campaign’s focus on job losses due to automation.
“We’re standing in the great state of Ohio the ultimate purple state, the ultimate bellwether state. Why did Donald Trump win your state by eight points? Because we got rid of 300,000 manufacturing jobs in your towns and [we’re] not stopping there,” he said, per CNBC.
Yang’s central proposal is a universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 per month paid for partly through taxing Big Tech companies posed to benefit most from automation. He used the debate to contrast his proposal with Bernie Sanders’ federal jobs guarantee, which he suggested was not the best path forward.
Per The Washington Examiner, Yang’s UBI proposal was met with skepticism by Cory Booker, who suggested a $15 minimum wage was the best path forward. Others, such as Tulsi Gabbard and Julian Castro, expressed interest in UBI but stopped short of endorsing his plan.
The 44-year-old serial entrepreneur is currently seventh in the polls and became the eighth candidate to qualify for the November debate. Along with Yang, the candidates that have qualified are Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren; former vice president Joe Biden; Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; California Senator Kamala Harris; New Jersey Senator Cory Booker; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and businessman Tom Steyer.
Yang has received support from numerous high-profile figures, including Tesla founder Elon Musk, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and former NFL player Antonio Bryant. As The Inquisitr reported, his upcoming November rally appeared to have a performance by Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo planned — an appearance that has since been confirmed by Yang.