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Politics

Andrew Yang joins CNN as a political commentator, and he’ll be on air for the Nevada debate

Andrew Yang
Andrew Yang at a Democratic presidential primary debate last July.
(Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang is taking on a new role as a political commentator for CNN, he and the network announced Wednesday. And his first appearance is to discuss his former rivals’ performance at Wednesday night’s debate in Las Vegas.

“I’m excited to join @CNN to help shed light on the election and the candidates’ experiences,” the entrepreneur wrote on Twitter. “Learned a lot these past months and am glad to contribute to the public discussion.”

Yang, whose campaign focused on providing a $1,000 a month in universal basic income to all adult U.S. citizens, dropped out of the presidential race last week after coming in sixth place in New Hampshire.

His upbeat campaign style, wry sense of humor and focus on data and math endeared him to a significant subset of the Democratic primary electorate, propelling him to the debate stage and the early primary states. The Yang Gang, as his followers are called, included celebrities such as comedian Dave Chappelle and Tesla founder Elon Musk.

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Throughout his campaign, Yang warned that automation would upend the current economy and cost millions of jobs, a theme he’ll likely discuss on CNN. Yang also commented on the lack of diversity on earlier debate stages.

“It’s both an honor and a disappointment to be the lone candidate of color on this stage tonight,” he said at the December debate in Los Angeles.

Yang, who missed the polling requirement for the January debate in Des Moines, has also criticized the Democratic National Committee for removing the fundraising requirement for debate qualification, a move that allowed former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to qualify for debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.

“The DNC changing its debate criteria to ignore grassroots donations seems tailor-made to get Mike Bloomberg on the debate stage in February,” Yang tweeted Jan. 31 after the DNC announced the rule change.

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Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate will feature billionaire Michael Bloomberg for the first time. He can expect attacks from his primary rivals.


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