Andrew Yang - 2020 Presidential Election Chronology
February 11: Yang ended his presidential campaign. He said in a speech to supporters, “While there is great work left to be done, you know I am the math guy, and it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race. I am not someone who wants to accept donations and support in a race that we will not win.”
December 10: Yang qualifies for PBS NewsHour/POLITICO December debate.
December 8: Yang announced that he had hired Julia Rosen to lead his digital operations and Ally Letsky to lead his direct mail operations. Letsky worked on the 2012 Obama and 2016 Clinton presidential campaigns.
November 24: Yang said he would not appear on MSNBC until the network apologizes for limiting his inclusion in the debate and omitting him in reports on fundraising and polling.
November 13: Ten candidates, including Yang, qualified for the fifth Democratic primary debate. The debate will take place on November 20, 2019, at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.
November 7: Yang aired his first ad in Iowa, "New Way Forward," as part of a $1 million ad buy in the state.
October 15: Yang participated in the 4th Democratic primary debate in Westerville.
October 1: Yang raised $10 million in the third quarter of 2019, more than tripling his fundraising total from the second quarter.
September 16: The Yang campaign said it collected 450,000 email addresses, 90 percent of which were new, in the 72 hours following Yang’s universal basic income proposal on the debate stage.
September 12: Yang participated in the third Democratic primary debate in Houston. ABC News and Univision broadcast the debate and Linsey Davis, David Muir, Jorge Ramos, and George Stephanopoulos moderated. The candidates discussed Medicare for All, criminal justice, international trade agreements, gun violence, military strategy in Afghanistan, education, and climate change.
September 7: Yang spoke at the Democratic Party of New Hampshire's annual convention along with 18 other candidates.
September 5: Yang said he would not run as a third-party candidate if he lost the Democratic nomination because it would increase Trump’s chances of winning.
August 26: Yang issued his $4.9 trillion climate change proposal which has five prongs: building a sustainable economy transitioned to renewable energy, investing in American innovation and technology to power the world, moving coastal communities to higher ground, using geoengineering to reverse the damage, and passing a constitutional amendment on environmental stewardship.
August 26: Yang made a climate policy announcement in New Hampshire.
August 8: Yang qualified for the third and fourth Democratic presidential primary debates, reaching the polling threshold of 2 percent or more in a fourth eligible poll. Yang previously announced he had reached the grassroots fundraising bar and the polling threshold last week before the Democratic National Committee clarified its polling rules, leaving Yang one short.
August 3-4: The 2020 Democratic candidates responded to the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in formal statements, interviews, and tweets. Candidates focused on Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants, congressional inaction, and gun violence policies.
July 31: The second night of the second Democratic presidential primary debate was broadcast from Detroit, Michigan, on CNN. Yang participated. At the debate, Yang said “the opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math” and the country needed to do something different. He highlighted his universal basic income proposal in several contexts, including pay equity for homemakers. Yang also said money spent on conflicts abroad should have been invested in U.S. communities.
July 30: The Democratic National Committee clarified that a candidate can only use one NBC-sponsored national poll to qualify for the third Democratic presidential debate, leaving Yang one poll short of qualifying.
July 29: Yang announced that he has qualified for the third Democratic presidential primary debate in September, becoming the eighth candidate to do so.
July 22: In his plan for veterans, Yang proposed allowing veterans to receive relevant civilian certifications without additional licensing and providing in-state tuition at any public school in any state. Yang also called for increasing funding for veterans crisis lines and changing the Veterans Affairs healthcare network.
July 11: Yang announced that he raised $2.8 million in the second quarter of 2019.
July 1: Yang reached the donor threshold for the third and fourth presidential debates.
June 27: At the first Democratic debate, Yang said Russia was the greatest geopolitical threat and that Chinese intellectual property theft should not be addressed through tariffs. He said the first international relationship he would reset would be China to seek cooperation on climate change, artificial intelligence, and North Korea.
June 26: Yang tweeted that he had reached 128,000 unique donors, nearing the 130,000-donor threshold to qualify for the third presidential debate.
June 22: Yang and 21 other Democratic candidates spoke at the South Carolina Democratic Convention. This was a record-breaking number of presidential candidates speaking at the state party's convention, The Greenville News reported.
May 1: Yang will give $1,000 per month to two families in New Hampshire and Iowa as a demonstration of his Universal Basic Income plan. Yang said he wanted to expand the offering to families in Nevada and South Carolina.
April 25: Yang released a new policy statement on the timing of payments for small businesses and cashflow issues.
April 18: Yang released a new policy statement on cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
April 14: Yang participated in a CNN town hall, where he discussed universal basic income, doctored information online, and decriminalizing heroin. He also responded to questions about white nationalist support for his campaign.
April 3: Yang said that he would legalize marijuana and pardon anyone convicted of a nonviolent drug-related offense on April 20, 2021.
April 2: Yang reported raising $1.7 million in the first quarter of 2019 from more than 80,000 individual donors. The average donation was under $18.
March 31: Yang released a new policy calling for federal agencies to be relocated to boost local economies and reduce cost and infrastructure issues in Washington, D.C.
March 18: Yang proposed a 10 percent value-added tax on companies like Amazon and Google.
March 11: Yang reached the 65,000-donor threshold to participate in the first primary debate.
Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
1. In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
2. Do you support expanding federal funding to support entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare?
- Unknown Position
Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
- Unknown Position
1. Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
2. Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, geo-thermal)?
Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
- Unknown Position
Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
1. Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
2. Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
1. Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border?
- Unknown Position
2. Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
1. Should the United States use military force to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a weapon of mass destruction (for example: nuclear, biological, chemical)?
- Unknown Position
2. Do you support reducing military intervention in Middle East conflicts?
1. Do you generally support removing barriers to international trade (for example: tariffs, quotas, etc.)?
Do you support increasing defense spending?
Would you commit to the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of your first term, or would you require certain conditions be met before doing so?
- America has been in a constant state of war for over 18 years. We have people who can vote in elections who have known nothing but war. We need to do everything in our power to end our current conflicts and prevent ourselves from getting embroiled in future open-ended conflicts with no clear benefit to the US. That’s why I’ve signed the pledge to End the Forever Wars. The US people are sick of paying trillions of dollars and seeing thousands die without feeling any safer.
We need to get our combat troops out of Afghanistan. By utilizing our diplomatic options, we can bring our troops home during my first term.
However, we have to continue our involvement in order to ensure that the rights of individuals - in particular, women and young girls - are protected, and that terrorist organizations can’t reform and organize within the borders. We can do this through helping the country to diversify its economy and maintaining diplomatic ties.
1. Under what circumstances, if any, would you support the United States joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), formerly the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
- Trade deals have inarguably hurt a large number of Americans. By outsourcing American jobs - particularly manufacturing jobs to China - we’ve devastated communities and placed large amounts of financial stress on families.
However, studies show that only 20% of manufacturing job loss is due to trade with China. The other 80% can be attributed to automation. While we need to take steps to ensure that our trade deals work for all Americans, automation is the bigger threat.
I would reenter the TPP in conjunction with policies to ensure the benefits are widely shared, like a VAT, border-adjustment tax, and the Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income of $1,000/month for all American adults.
We need to increase our influence and alliances across the Pacific, so I believe we need to either enter the TPP, or negotiate a similar deal to combat the rising influence of China in the region. We should take this opportunity to renegotiate labor and environmental standards, and intellectual property and data protection, specifically in the tech sector.
How, if at all, should China’s treatment of the Uighurs and the situation in Hong Kong affect broader U.S. policy toward China?
- The treatment of the Uighurs in China is unacceptable, and we need to be a part of the chorus of voices across the world calling the situation out for what it is. It’s also troubling to see China take a more aggressive stance throughout the region, whether towards Hong Kong, Taiwan, or in the South China Sea.
China obviously has great ambition, and their system of government is becoming increasingly authoritarian as they develop more technologies that allow them to monitor and control their population. It’s important that we work with our allies to combat the spread of this authoritarian capitalism, and provide a model for democratic capitalism.
By providing a model and engaging in international work to help developing nations, we can show the world a better way to engage in governing their nations. We should help developing nations to liberalize, and work with them to diversify their economies. Trade and exporting US technologies to these countries can help us build alliances throughout the world as more countries modernize and liberalize.
We need to make sure China isn’t stealing our IP or exporting their authoritarianism to other countries, and we must ensure that we have reliable access to rare earth metals. But the current trade war is just hurting both sides. An ascendant China isn’t a direct threat to the United States, as long as we are strong at home and project that confidence to developing nations, to show them a superior path to the one China is offering.
Would you rejoin the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)? What changes to the existing agreement, if any, would you require before agreeing to rejoin the accord?
- Iran is a destabilizing force in the region, and the JCPOA gave us both short-term victories in stabilizing the region through minimizing their influence, and inroads to further discussion to find a solution that would work over a longer period. Leaving the JCPOA was a massive strategic mistake, and one that only served to increase the likelihood of armed conflict in the country. The American people have no desire for armed conflict with Iran, which would lead to another multi-decade engagement that would spread throughout the region and have no clear benefit for the American people.
We need to work with our allies that are still party to the agreement to negotiate a new JCPOA, with longer terms and delayed deadlines to reflect the time wasted with Trump and Bolton’s posturing. We need to get Iran back in compliance with the limitations placed on them under the agreement on nuclear materials and enrichment capabilities.
Then, we need to build on the agreement to get Iran to stop destabilizing the region, attacking our allies, funding terrorist organizations, and causing conflict in the Strait of Hormuz.
Would you sign an agreement with North Korea that entailed partial sanctions relief in exchange for some dismantling of its nuclear weapons program but not full denuclearization?
- Yes. You can’t find solutions to problems if you’re not willing to talk. I would engage with North Korea without preconditions in order to find a path towards complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization. We can’t leave any options off the table, and we need to accept incremental gains in order to reach our eventual goal.
What, if any, steps would you take to counter Russian aggression against Ukraine?
- Russian aggression in Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law, and we have the obligation to work with our allies to act. We need to echo the chorus of our allies in stating that Russia must return to its borders, and we won’t recognize any expansion they have into neighboring territories. Russian aggression is a destabilizing force, and we must work with our allies to project a strong and unified face against Russian expansionism.
Even though Ukraine is not a NATO member, that relationship is an important one, and I’d work with our NATO allies to reaffirm and expand our security coordination with Ukraine. It was encouraging to hear Pres. Zelensky’s words during his visit to NATO headquarters.
Helping Ukraine will also help us prepare for Russian aggression. The Russian interference in Ukrainian elections was a precursor to their interference in US elections. By helping neighboring states to Russia defend themselves, we’re also learning how to defend ourselves.
Finally, we need to expand sanctions against Russia, and Putin and members of his government specifically through the Global Magnitsky Act, in order to pressure the country to play by international rules.
Given the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the civil war in Yemen, what changes, if any, would you make to U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia?
- First off, the United States should be providing no aid to Saudi Arabia in its assault on Yemen. It’s creating a humanitarian crisis that ranks amongst the worst of all time. We should end all support for this situation - logistics, arms sales, refueling efforts, intelligence.
The United States must take action against Saudi Arabia given the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi. That violent and illegal action against someone living in the United States must not go unanswered. It also hints at the larger conflict of values between our two countries. While we must be pragmatic in our foreign policy in recognizing that we will often have to deal with countries that have bad values, we should also be sure to always let our values lead us. A reset of the relationship with Saudi Arabia under this understanding would prevent us from getting involved in another conflict like the one in Yemen by centering our diplomacy around our values and ideals.
Do you support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, if so, how would you go about trying to achieve it?
- The only acceptable end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict involves a two-state solution that allows both the Israeli and Palestinian people to have sovereign land and self-determination.
Israel has been an important ally to the US, and it will continue to be an important ally. It is a democracy in a region where that is rare. I disagree with some of the policies of the current Israeli administration, but I believe the relationship is fundamentally strong and will continue to be.
I don’t want to prescribe the specifics of a two-state solution, as the Israeli and Palestinian people both need to be leading any conversation, and I look forward to engaging with all stakeholders to come up with confidence-building measures, such as a ceasefire and an end to the expansion of settlements, as we look towards building a sustainable peace. Coming together to provide aid to those suffering in Gaza can also be an opportunity for all parties to work together to handle a humanitarian crisis that is causing untold suffering.
The US should also restore our USAID programs for Palestinians that have been ended by this administration.
What, if any, additional steps should the United States take to remove Nicolás Maduro from power in Venezuela?
- The United States must promote free and fair elections in Venezuela to determine their next leader. The most recent elections were obviously marred by fraud, intimidation, and voter suppression.
While Maduro’s actions of undermining democracy are inexcusable, we should not get embroiled in military action to remove him from power. The United States must push with our allies for Maduro to step down, through diplomacy, and through sanctions targeted at Maduro and his supporters. We must also work with Guaido, and with him consider amnesty for some of Maduro’s military support to entice them to support Guaido as President of the National Assembly and interim President.
We should continue to support the Venezuelan people with humanitarian aid, and also assist our regional allies in dealing with the crisis of the massive number of refugees. And we should signal that we will provide aid to Venezuela after a transition to a new and democratically elected government.
By 2050, Africa will account for 25 percent of the world’s population according to projections by the United Nations. What are the implications of this demographic change for the United States, and how should we adjust our policies to anticipate them?
- Africa’s youth population is driving the adoption of new technologies at awesome speeds. Cell phones are now prevalent on a continent where wired phones never took hold. Adopting renewable energy now will allow Africa to avoid the shortfalls that come from having a centralized grid.
The United States should serve as a partner to the African nations. We should be driven by the motto “African solutions for African problems.” We should facilitate American entrepreneurs to partner with African entrepreneurs in technology - especially energy, agriculture, civil society, and beyond. We need to ensure that the African nations view the United States as an ally and model. We can also learn a lot from the continent, as they’re adopting technologies that aren’t in widespread use in the US and we can see their impact and push to adopt the ones that have the largest benefits.
We also must recognize that China is heavily investing in African infrastructure and technology, oftentimes exploiting natural resources with no tangible benefit for the local communities. We need to outcompete China in technological advancement, economic growth, and in the establishment of sustainable social and environmental practices. We need to restructure our trade agreements to offer attractive investment opportunity and to expand markets: by going beyond manufacturing and goods to include services, intellectual property, fair labor practices, and sustainable environment standards.
How would you discourage the proliferation of coal-fired power plants in developing countries?
- The first step to any action on climate change is to rejoin the Paris Accords so that we have the moral authority and allies in order to fight the existential threat that is climate change.
In order to combat the development of fossil fuel power expanding to developing countries, we have to provide a viable alternative. China is currently using its Belt and Road Initiative to invest in projects in developing nations to create economic and cultural bonds between their countries; we have to provide a cleaner and more democratic alternative.
Climate change, while a threat, is also a massive opportunity for the United States to regain its position as an innovator while relocating the energy sector within our borders. By providing grants, investments, and tax incentives, we can develop clean energy and carbon capture technologies, and then help the rest of the world get their energy from clean, American-made sources. The whole world should be using US solar panels, turbines, and other renewable technologies.
By engaging in this work, we can not only make the world cleaner and more sustainable, but we can develop relationships with developing countries and push them towards a more democratic future.
What has been the greatest foreign policy accomplishment of the United States since World War II? What has been the biggest mistake?
- Global economic development has been our greatest foreign policy accomplishment. This success started with the Marshall Plan, providing billions in economic aid to rehabilitate European economies regardless of which side of the war the countries fought on. This initiative resulted in the promotion of free trade, modern technologies, the spread of democracy, and stronger allies to partner with the US in our global initiatives. We have continued to promote sustainable economic development across the globe by working closing with and empowering international development organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. When our global initiatives promote open markets, in turn, we promote freedom everywhere.
The biggest mistake was not investing in and becoming a global leader in renewable energy technology. Climate change is a destabilizing force in a world that could use more stability. A lot of our primary antagonists have economies based largely on oil exports, and the sale of oil has also been used to fund terrorism. Infrastructure programs focusing on energy generation have allowed other countries - especially China - to form relationships with countries, often by exporting dirty energy technology. If the United States had invested heavily in renewables over the past few decades and engaged in an aggressive policy of exporting it to the rest of the world, particularly developing nations, we could have slowed or reversed climate change, cut off a funding source for regimes that we’ve ended up fighting wars with, and made it much harder for terrorist organizations to fund themselves.