2020 White House hopeful Andrew Yang will do “something no presidential candidate has ever done” during Thursday evening’s Democrat presidential primary debate, according to the candidate’s campaign manager.
Daily Beast editor Sam Stein revealed that Yang’s campaign manager teased the mysterious act in a telephone call on Wednesday and declined to elaborate any further.
Andrew Yang’s campaign manager just called to tell me that at tomorrow night’s debate, Yang will be doing "something no presidential candidate has ever done before in history.” He declined to go further than that.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) September 11, 2019
Zach Graumann, co-founder and CEO of SuitUp, serves as Yang’s campaign head.
Yang later addressed the speculation, tweeting that he will be “crowdsurfing in sandals” at the debate — a likely joke to keep fans in suspense.
For those wondering I will be crowdsurfing in sandals at Thursday’s debate.
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) September 11, 2019
Yang is one of ten candidates who qualified for the third debate, which will be held at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. Other candidates who have qualified are: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), former Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
According to a Real Clear Politics poll average, Yang currently sits in seventh place at 2.5 percent, one spot ahead of O’Rourke.
Yang is basing his bid for the Democratic Party nomination for president in 2020 on providing universal basic income — a monthly $1,000 subsidy — to Americans to protect the economy from consequences of automation.
Yang announced his candidacy in late 2017 and has based his platform around the concern that new technologies, including artificial intelligence, will destroy millions of jobs in the next decade. He describes his economic policy as “human-centered capitalism.”
“A crisis is underway — we have to work together to stop it, or risk losing the heart of our country,” Yang’s campaign website states.
The center of Yang’s campaign is a proposal to institute a universal basic income that he calls “The Freedom Dividend,” which would provide $1,000 every month to every American older than 18 independent of their work status or other factors.
“This would enable all Americans to pay their bills, educate themselves, start businesses, be more creative, stay healthy, relocate for work, spend time with their children, take care of loved ones and have a real stake in the future,” his website states.
Yang made headlines last week for citing a United Nations study during CNN’s climate change town hall event, which claims the world could stop climate change if the majority of people switched to a vegetarian diet.
“It’s good for the environment, it’s good for your health if you eat less meat,” Yang said, before explaining that meat was “expensive” environmentally to produce and also unhealthy.
“I think it would be healthy on both an individual and a societal level for us to move in that direction,” he stated.
The UPI contributed to this report.