Andrew Yang stepped away from the Democratic presidential candidate pack when asked about impeachment during the December 19, 2019 debate, proclaiming that “we have to stop being obsessed over impeachment.” You can watch video of the break-out moment later in this article.
While other candidates used the opportunity to bash President Donald Trump and praise impeachment in strongly worded terms, Yang took a different approach.
His basic argument was that Democrats should try to articulate why people are upset and voted for Trump and speak to those concerns with a positive message; Yang says Trump voters don’t trust the media, especially since the media missed Trump’s chances to win in 2016. They’re upset by lost manufacturing jobs. According to Yang, Democratic candidates need to craft a positive message and start focusing on the issues that got Trump elected, not impeachment.
“We have to stop being obsessed over impeachment … and start actually digging in and solving the problems that got Donald Trump elected in the first place,” said Yang.
To many Americans, said Yang, impeachment is “like a ball game where you know what the score is going to be.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Yang Said the Media Make It Sound Like Trump Became President Because of Russia, Racism, Facebook, Hillary Clinton & Emails
Yang started the debate speech by saying: “If you turn on cable network news today, you would think he’s (Trump’s) president because of some combination of Russia, racism, Facebook, Hillary Clinton, and emails, all mixed together. But Americans around the country know different.”
Rather, said Yang: “We blasted away 4 million manufacturing jobs that were primarily based in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvlania, Wisconsin, Missouri. I just left Iowa. We blasted 40,000 manufacturing jobs there. The more we act like Donald Trump is the cause of all our problems, the more Americans lose trust that we can actually see what’s going on in our communities and solve those problems.”
That’s when he brought up impeachment (of course, all of this came in response to moderators asking each candidate about it):
“What we have to do is we have to stop being obsessed over impeachment, which unfortunately strikes many Americans like a ball game where you know what the score is going to be,” said Yang. “And start actually digging in and solving the problems that got Donald Trump elected in the first place. We have to take every opportunity to present a new positive vision for the country, a new way forward, to help beat him in 2020 because make no mistake, he will be there at the ballot box for us to defeat.”
Here’s some of the Twitter reaction. Some people agreed with Yang; others didn’t.
“I like Yang but I call baloney on this comment. It ignores the 400 House bills sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk. It dismisses the specific plans and policies all the dem candidates have proposed. Impeachment had to happen, but lots of other things have been happening too.”
“Honestly all the candidates are doing fantastic and giving really thoughtful answers. Biden’s answer on how the aggregate economy being good doesn’t reflect the financial reality for working class people, and Yang’s answer on impeachment were particularly good.”
Andrew Yang has built a bit of a cult following with supporters dubbing themselves the “Yang Gang.” On his campaign website, Yang announces, “I’m Andrew Yang, and I’m running for President as a Democrat in 2020 because I fear for the future of our country. New technologies – robots, software, artificial intelligence – have already destroyed more than 4 million US jobs, and in the next 5-10 years, they will eliminate millions more. A third of all American workers are at risk of permanent unemployment. And this time, the jobs will not come back.”
Yang touts the fact he’s not a politician. Instead, he writes, he’s “an entrepreneur who understands the economy.” According to his website, Yang was born in upstate New York in 1975 to immigrants from Taiwan. “My Dad was a researcher at IBM—he generated 69 patents over his career—and my Mom was the systems administrator at a local university,” he writes. “My brother and I grew up pretty nerdy. We also grew up believing in the American Dream—it’s why my parents came here.”
He’s a businessman who has worked as a corporate lawyer, ran a healthcare startup, and then ran a national education company. He then founded Venture for America, which he describes as “an organization that helps entrepreneurs create jobs in cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland.”
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