Andrew Yang On MSNBC Slam: ‘It’s Not About Me’

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks during the Nevada Democrats' "First in the West" event at Bellagio Resort & Casino on November 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
David Becker / Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang recently called out MSNBC for his lack of speaking time at last week’s debate and the network’s frequent omission of his campaign from their political coverage. The serial entrepreneur’s supporters also took to social media to trend the “BoycottMSNBC” hashtag, and many noted what they believe is an effort to suppress Yang’s campaign.

Speaking with CNN’s Ana Cabrera Saturday, Yang talked about his decision to call out MSNBC after turning down an invitation to appear on the network — a decision that Cabrera said could be seen as “risky,” Newsweek reports.

The political outsider noted that he got called on less than any other candidate at the debate and suggested that the questions he received had “nothing to do” with the “core ideas” of his campaign, which centers around a universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 per month for every American adult.

“It’s not about me, it’s about the 300,000-plus Americans who donate to and support my campaign,” he said.

“[There’s] millions of Americans who know we need to rewrite the rules of the 21st century economy to work for us. Think about those people donating $10 to $20 of their hard-earned money to put a candidate on the stage and then have MSNBC virtually ignore me for 32 minutes or when they tune into MSNBC to see how we’re doing in the polls. It’s like I don’t exist.”

Yang 2020 Press Secretary Randy Jones provided a statement to Newsweek back in August and called it “inexcusable” for major media networks to have allegedly mentioned Yang’s name significantly fewer times than nearly all of the other Democratic contenders. He also noted that Yang’s supporters often highlight inaccuracies in the media and pointed to the “strength” of the numbers behind the campaign. Jones suggested that outlets or groups that intended to work against the candidate in a calculated way should “tread lightly.”

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A recent Business Insider analysis following the debate found that Yang has received the least amount of speaking time in of all of the Democratic debates compared to expected speaking time based on his polling numbers, and said he is the only remaining Democratic presidential candidate for which this pattern is the case.

The report also suggested that given Yang’s polling, he should have had nearly 15 minutes more time than he has gained across the debates thus far.

Yang is currently sixth in overall polling average and needs 4 percent or higher in one more DNC-approved poll to qualify for the December debate.