During an interview with CNN anchor Ana Cabrera, Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang was asked if he believes it’s possible to connect with the traditionally Republican evangelical voters. This bloc of voters is reportedly unwavering in their support of Donald Trump even in the face of an impeachment probe.
“Yes, I do,” Yang said. “I talk to evangelical Christians around the country who are deeply concerned about the values that President Trump represents. And they’re concerned that their religion is being politicized, that people feel like, for whatever reason, one party has something of a monopoly on the Christian vote.”
The 44-year-old serial entrepreneur, whose campaign centers around a universal basic income (UBI), said that there are “many communities of faith” that “embrace” the vision of his campaign, which he describes as a “trickle-up economy that values every single person.”
Yang noted his meeting with Martin Luther King Jr.’s son, Martin Luther King III, after the last debate in Atlanta. According to Yang, King III said that the campaign’s vision aligns with his father’s vision he was fighting for when he was assassinated in 1968.
“Many communities of faith believe that we have to help the least among us, and I believe that this campaign is activating more and more of those voters.”
“I’m very proud to be the first Asian-American man to run for President as a Democrat. Asian-Americans need to become more politically involved. A lower percentage of Asian-Americans vote than other groups and I would love to help change that.” — @AndrewYang pic.twitter.com/4t76F8PWpf
— Ana Cabrera (@AnaCabrera) December 15, 2019
Yang previously said he considers himself “spiritual” when pressed if he was religious, per The Young Turks. Regardless, a blog on his website reveals that he and his wife, Evelyn, have been bringing their two boys to church for several years. Yang describes the process as “positive” for everyone in their family. Yang also notes his relationship with his pastor, Mark Mast, and the conversations they have had about UBI.
On the policy page, Mast reveals that he believes Yang’s UBI is a “beginning” for people who follow Christ. Mast also noted that many of the struggling people in the world are in their unique positions not because of their own “choices” but things outside of their control, such as illness, job loss, or the place in the world they were born.
If Yang were to win the Democratic nomination, he would be up against Trump and his strong evangelical base. Evangelical pastor Ralph Reed, the founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and an ardent Trump supporter, previously said that Christians have a “moral obligation to enthusiastically back” Trump in 2020. Other evangelical leaders are more critical of Trump and believe that the “prosperity gospel” message he subscribes to is in conflict with the Bible’s teachings.