Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro recently used his eponymous show — available on YouTube — to praise Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. The praise came after Yang again received the lowest amount of speaking time at Wednesday’s presidential debate, which sparked a backlash from the serial entrepreneur’s supporters.
“I mean listen,” Shapiro said, “if you don’t appreciate just Andrew Yang as a human being — you don’t have to agree with any of his policies, and you don’t have to think that universal basic income (UBI) is a good idea. But Andrew Yang is a nice and decent human being. I’ve sat with Andrew Yang, I’ve met Andrew Yang. This is a person who is trying to be reasonable — in a way that I disagree with, but trying to be reasonable.”
Shapiro highlighted how far Yang has come as a political outsider to appear on the debate stage and touched on the Democratic candidate’s post-debate attack on MSNBC during a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer, which Shapiro played a clip from.
During the clip, Yang said that he misses CNN moderating the debates and noted that it was 32 minutes until he received a question. Yang also brought up October’s debate that CNN hosted with The New York Times, suggesting that the candidates were able to explore “real, substantive topics.”
“This is absolutely true,” Shapiro said after playing the clip.
MSNBC has been particularly dismissive of Yang’s campaign, and the recent exclusion pushed his supporters to spread the “MSNBCFearsYang” hashtag, which made it into the top Twitter trends in the U.S. the day after the debate.
Per NextShark, Yang previously appeared on the “Sunday Special” of Shapiro’s show and discussed the candidate’s journey to running for president on a campaign that centers around a UBI of $1,000 per month for every American adult. According to Yang, the country is going through the “greatest economic and technological transformation” it has ever experienced — a shift he calls the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which he claims is largely driven by automation.
Although the pair disagreed on multiple points, they agreed on others, including paying college athletes. Regardless, the special was well-received by YouTube commentators, many of whom noted the friendliness of the exchange in the comments section and praised the mutual respect Shapiro and Yang appeared to have for each other despite their many opposing political views.
Shapiro previously expressed his liking of Yang on Twitter.
“I’ll be honest, I’m rooting for @AndrewYang,” he tweeted back in June.