Politics

Andrew Yang Had the Guts to Say, Let’s ‘Stop Being Obsessed Over Impeachment’

Tech entrepreneur is (still) running for the 2020 Democratic nomination for the presidency — here's where he departs from his colleagues

Image Credit: Screenshot, CNN/NYTimes

“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 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’ll be there at the ballot box for us to defeat.”

Those were the words of Andrew Yang (shown above) during the most recent Democratic primary debate this past week in Los Angeles — and Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto, anchor of “Cavuto Live,” played a clip on Saturday of that Yang comment for his viewers on Saturday.

Statements and sentiments like these are where Yang departs from most if not all of the others still seeking their party’s 2020 nomination to go up against President Donald Trump next year — and it’s why Yang still thinks he has a shot at this thing he’s chasing.

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Here’s more of Cavuto’s interview with Yang.

Cavuto replied to that comment above as he welcomed Yang to his program, “This is the only time Donald Trump said, ‘I agree with something a Democratic presidential candidate said,’ and that caused shock waves in the last presidential debate and one that a lot of people said Andrew Yang won handily, at least challenging party consensus on a whole host of issues, including impeachment. He joins me right now … You know, the reaction you’re getting is something that has picked up considerably since when you and I first chatted, soon after you first joined the race. Are you surprised, the reaction you’re getting?”

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“I am pleased. I’m thrilled. But I felt like there was an appetite for a different kind of approach to politics and I’m not a career politician. I’m a parent and a patriot.”

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“You’re an entrepreneur,” said Cavuto. “You make your money doing that. So you’re not keen on some of the ideas that some of your opponents have espoused, like a wealth tax.”

“I think a lot of the ideas coming out of the party could use some reexamination,” said Yang. “[Take] the wealth tax, the example you raise. The fact is, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden all tried a wealth tax and then repealed it because it didn’t work. And so if you’re the Democratic Party, we should be putting forward ideas that we have confidence in, that will work because they worked in other places, not ideas that we’ve already seen problems with in other countries.”

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Yang added shortly after, “I think that if the Democratic Party does antagonize anyone who’s made a certain amount of money in our society, that to me — you should be praising people who succeed because many of them worked very, very hard to get where they are. And the question is: How do we balance the economy so that it works for more people, for more of us? The tough part, Neil, is that Americans can sense that the American dream is slipping away for more and more of us. If you were born in this country in the 1940s, there was a 93 percent chance you were going to do better than your parents. If you’re born in the ’90s, it’s down to a 50/50 shot and it’s declining fast. So that’s what we have to fix. But fixing that does not necessarily mean trying to demonize anyone who’s been successful.”

Said Cavuto, “But when you look at Donald Trump and you look at the fact that he talks about the stock market, talks about job gains, and then I hear candidates talking about the fact that, you know, this is an awful economy — for a lot of people, there’s a disconnect there. I know you draw a distinction between companies that might be making money hand-over-fist, but that doesn’t mean you have any fewer bankruptcies, any fewer dislocated Americans. I get that. But it’s a tough sell, isn’t it?”

Yang replied, “Well, if you reflect back to Donald Trump’s campaign, what did he say about the headline unemployment rate? He said ‘fake news, it doesn’t reflect the fact that millions of Americans are leaving the workforce.’ And he was right then.”

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“But is it fake news in reverse,” put in Cavuto, “to say the gains we’re having aren’t real?”

Yang’s response: “Well, there are gains in these top-line measurements, but the top-line measurements don’t correspond to the day-to-day experience of many millions of Americans around the country. And I see this firsthand when I campaign, where if you say to people, ‘Hey, the stock market is doing well,’ and this might be different for people who are watching your program, frankly, because the top 20 percent of American households hold 92 percent of stock market wealth. The bottom 50 percent own essentially zero. So if I go around saying, ‘Hey, great news, stock market’s up,’ for half of Americans, that’s essentially irrelevant.”

Cavuto responded, “But for half of Americans, it is not.”

“Yes,” Yang had to admit.

A bit later in the interview, Cavuto noted that during Yang’s run for the Democratic nomination, he’s talked “about things that other candidates don’t talk about — the impeachment focus, for example … You’re not saying it was a mistake, but that the obsession over it is. And maybe the party heard you or [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and others heard you by trying to demonstrate that they could walk and chew gum at the same time and address these other issues. So they must be worried that something you’re saying is right.”

“I’m not sure if it’s all me,” Yang replied, “but the fact is and I said it [on] the debate stage, that this does strike many Americans like a ballgame where you know the outcome … I think many Americans have opinions as to what the president did and whether it rises to the level of impeachment.”

“You think he should be impeached?” asked Cavuto.

Said Yang, “I do. You know, I think bullying a foreign leader by withholding aid for political gain is beyond the pale. And the Constitution says that impeachment is the remedy. At the same time, we have to face facts that impeachment is unlikely to succeed without 20 Republican senators having a change of heart or a change of mind.”

“And so the most likely outcome,” Yang added, “is Donald Trump saying ‘total vindication, total exoneration’ in two months or so. And those are two months that we could have been using to make a positive case to the American people about solving the problems in our communities that, in my view, helped get Donald Trump elected in the first place.”

Check out the full interview here — and share your thoughts.

meet the author

Maureen Mackey served as editor-in-chief and managing editor of LifeZette for nearly five years. Before that, she held senior editorial positions at major publications, helping The Fiscal Times win a MIN Award for Best New Site as managing editor and Reader's Digest win an American Society of Magazine Editors Award for General Excellence as book editor. Her work has appeared in Real Clear Politics, CNBC, A Fine Line, AARP Magazine, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, and The Week, among other outlets. She is a member of the Newswomen's Club of New York and the American Legion Auxiliary.

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