Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang recently spoke about the new super PAC supporting his campaign, the Math PAC, which is led by former senior Democratic National Committee (DNC) adviser Will Hailer. Super PACs are political groups separate from official candidate campaigns that can raise unlimited amounts of money on behalf of the candidate they support.
Yang has been vocal about his desire to overturn Citizens United, which is the court ruling on campaign finance that paved the way for super PACs. When questioned about the Math PAC in an interview with CBS reporter Nicole Sganga, Yang did not disavow the committee.
“I know very little about the Math PAC generally,” he said. “If it’s the case that we have the rules that we have, and people want to support my message and my campaign, given the system we have right now, they’re free to do so.”
“I just hope they are aligned with my vision for the country and invest accordingly,” he later said.
Yang’s response is a contrast to other candidates, such as Cory Booker, who have disavowed any purported super PACS, per HuffPost.
The 44-year-old serial entrepreneur’s response has been both praised and criticized by his supporters on social media.
“He said he’s in this to win and he’s playing by the rules — even if he disagrees with them,” one supporter said.
“I think Mr. Yang needs to go back to drawing board on this,” said another, suggesting that his decision could become a “huge problem.”
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— Andrew Yang???? (@AndrewYang) October 22, 2019
Although Yang’s disavowal of the super PAC would not have any effect on its activity, as it is operated separately from the campaign, critics of his decision to not disavow the committee suggest that it conflicts with his goals of removing money from politics.
Per The Intercept, former Vice President Joe Biden previously disavowed super PAC support but flipped and is now seeking to mobilize such committees. Although the Democratic frontrunner has pledged to refuse contributions from registered lobbyists, his recent decision suggests that this pledge doesn’t include super PACs.
Fellow presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recently spoke out against super PACs, claiming that he does not need one and refuses to be controlled by a “handful of wealthy people.” Fox News reports that the Vermont senator slammed Biden for his flip on super PACs, suggesting that his failure to create a movement of grassroots support has pushed him to turn to the wealthy.
As for Yang, his rivals have yet to attack his decision. He is currently sixth in the polls with an average of 2.5 percent support.