Entrepreneur touts big solutions, endorsements in discussing presidential bid

Andrew Yang, a New York entrepreneur who is now running as a Democrat for president, said Thursday he expected to win endorsements from figures in Silicon Valley as well as Andy Stern, the former president of the Service Employees International Union.

Yang made the comments during an interview with Hill.TV's "Rising," where he touted his support for a universal basic income.

“We need bigger solutions instead of arguing about issues from the past,” he said.

Yang said he will be endorsed by Y Combinator President Sam Altman along with "about 80 techies in Silicon Valley." 

He also touted what he said would be a forthcoming endorsement from Stern, stating "so I’m getting tech leaders, I’m getting people across the country and I’m getting union leaders.”

Yang first announced his 2020 bid for president in September. He's also backing Medicare for All and “evolution to a human-centered economy.”

Yang would be considered a long-shot candidate in 2020, which is expected to attract dozens of Democratic candidates. They could include former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBarack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Biden: 'The America I see does not wish to turn our back on the world' MORE and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren set to announce plan for universal child care: reports Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Booker seeks dialogue about race as he kicks off 2020 campaign MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support Booker seeks dialogue about race as he kicks off 2020 campaign Capitalism: The known ideal MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris, Booker call for judgement on Jussie Smollett case to be withheld until investigation is completed Harris calls idea of Trump trusting Putin over US intel ‘height of irresponsibility and shameful’ Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report MORE (D-Calif.) and perhaps Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeBarack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Democrats have a chance of beating Trump with Julian Castro on the 2020 ticket MORE, who recently lost his bid for the Senate in Texas.

Yang, the first Asian-American to run for president as a Democrat, emphasized the need for the government to help workers prepare for the future.

He emphasized on “Rising” that automation will soon make millions of jobs obsolete, saying “we are experiencing the greatest technological and economic shift in human history.”

Yang said his plan the “Freedom Dividend” seeks to help Americans better prepare for the future and potential job loss. His proposal would give American adults between the ages of 18 to 64 years old a $1,000 a month “free and clear.”

He argues this extra stipend wouldn’t be intended to eliminate work, but rather create more opportunities and help sustain local economies.

"If you look at $1,000, multiply it times the population of a rural area or a state, you end up transforming the economy in ways that make it much, much more sustainable," he said, saying similar plans have already been successfully implemented in parts of Canada.

— Tess Bonn

Correction: A previous version of this story mischaracterized the nature of one of Yang's expected endorsements. This post has been updated to reflect that he said he will be endorsed by the president of Y Combinator.