Despite the fact that he just entered politics in 2015 and has only been running things in Washington since January 2017, President Donald Trump has often been the scapegoat to whom Democrats point as the root of America’s problems. But it looks like 2020 hopeful Andrew Yang doesn’t share that view.
The entrepreneur broke from Democrats’ narrative on Trump in a Sunday appearance on ABC’s This Week, where Yang said that Trump is not the “cause of all of our problems” but rather, a “symptom” of a pre-existing, “underlying disease,” Breitbart reported.
“Not left, not right”
Yang’s dismissal came when ABC host Jonathan Karl asked him to explain his seemingly nonpartisan campaign slogan: “Not left, not right, but forward.”
“Well, Jon, to me it’s clear the reason why Donald Trump is our president today is that we automated away four million manufacturing jobs that were primarily based in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Iowa, the swing states he needed to win,” Yang replied, according to a transcript of the interview provided by RealClearPolitics. “And what we did to those jobs is what we are now going to do to the retail jobs, the call center jobs, the fast-food jobs, and eventually the truck driving jobs.”
Yang said that finding a way “forward” in the face of lost jobs is an issue that is “independent of your political affiliation,” something that would “apply to us all.”
Asked if both Democrats and Republicans had been too partisan on that and other issues, Yang echoed the president, saying: “Democrats still have not asked themselves the hard questions as to how Donald Trump won in 2016, where if you look around the country, you see 30% of stores and malls closing. You see record-high levels of stress, financial insecurity, student loan debt, even suicides and drug overdoses.
“These are the problems that voters talk to me about when I’m out there every single day,” Yang added. “And the Democratic Party, unfortunately, is acting like Donald Trump is the cause of all of our problems. He’s a symptom and we need to cure the underlying disease.”
Later in the interview, Yang was asked about impeachment and whether he’d be open to considering a pardon for Trump if the president were to be convicted and removed from office.
Yang noted that while he is personally in favor of impeachment, it isn’t a topic of importance for any of the voters he’s met on the campaign trail. Instead, he suggested that, given the likely outcome of an acquittal in the Republican-controlled Senate, Democrats should quit wasting time and energy on the issue and focus on other things that voters care more about.
“My focus is on solving the problems that got Donald Trump elected and moving the country forward. And if you look around the world, unfortunately, it’s developing countries that have fallen into a pattern of the new president or the new leader prosecuting and sometimes imprisoning the former leader,” Yang said. “That’s not a precedent that’s been set here in the U.S., and to me, that’s something that I would be interested in maintaining.”
He went on: “It’s not in the country’s interest necessarily to look backwards. We need to look forwards.”
Yang is correct to note that Trump is not the cause of all of the nation’s problems, and Yang deserves a bit of credit for breaking with the majority of his party on this point. But unfortunately for the Democrat, there’s only one person who can keep America on the right path — and he’s already in the White House.