Andrew Yang Drops Out of 2020 Presidential Race
Sen. Michael Bennet dropped out of the race as well.
Andrew Yang has announced that he's suspending his presidential campaign.
Yang, once a longshot in the Democratic presidential primary who ended up outlasting several sitting U.S. senators, needed a strong performance in the New Hampshire primary on February 11 in order to continue his campaign. Yang ran on giving a "Freedom Dividend" of $1,000 a month to all adult Americans, a concept called Universal Basic Income that has increasingly become a real discussion in the Democratic party.
Here's his speech from New Hampshire, where he thanked his supporters:
‘We’ve accomplished so much together’ — @AndrewYang announced tonight he’d be ending his presidential bid. His outsider campaign inspired a diehard group of supporters and helped push the idea of Universal Basic Income from the fringes into the mainstream pic.twitter.com/7WTKlOqAfu— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 12, 2020
Yang is a 45-year-old businessman and entrepreneur who ran a campaign focused on America's changing economy, and in particular, how workers could weather the transition to automation in certain industries. He promoted a more tech-focused approach to solving national problems and became known for lines like, "The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian guy who likes math." At one of his final rallies in Iowa on February 1, his crowd of supporters quoted the line back to him, many of them wearing MATH hats (both to promote the subject and as an acronym for "Make America Think Harder").
Yang came to NowThis last year and spoke to us about why he believes Universal Basic Income could help solve poverty in America.
Former candidates like Sen. Cory Booker praised Yang after the announcement:
And a former national security advisor for President Obama noted how he reached out to new voters — Yang had a diverse cross-section of support in age, race, gender, and even had some 2016 Trump voters vocalize their support for him:
Democrats would be insane to not reach out to Andrew Yang, learn from what he built and how he did it, and make him a part of our future in this campaign and beyond.— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) February 12, 2020
Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado also dropped out of the race on Tuesday night. A former school educator, he ran on a platform of strengthening America's schools, offering universal childcare, and paid medical and family leave. In an interesting comparison to Yang, Bennet's signature policy proposal is a universal childcare benefit "that would give all but the richest families $250 to $300 per month, per child, with no strings attached," according to Vox. Studies showed that the plan could cut child poverty in the U.S. in half.
After dropping out, Sen. Bennet tweeted, "I love our country. I love the idea of democracy. And I want to pass it on to the next generation. I feel nothing but joy tonight as we conclude this campaign and this chapter. Tonight wasn’t our night. But New Hampshire, you may see me once again."
Watch our 20 Questions with Michael Bennet and Andrew Yang, below:
Watch more from our 20 Questions for 2020 series with the presidential candidates here.