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 BidenCory Booker has a problem in 2020: Kamala Harris 2020 Dems ratchet up anti-corporate talk in bid to woo unions Resurfaced Buttigieg yearbook named him 'most likely to be president' MORE and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTim Ryan doesn't back impeachment proceedings against Trump Schiff: Democrats 'may' take up impeachment proceedings Trump claims Democrats' plans to probe admin will cost them 'big time' in 2020 MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersCory Booker has a problem in 2020: Kamala Harris Wage growth shaping up as key 2020 factor for Trump Booker to supporter who wanted him to punch Trump: 'Black guys like us, we don't get away with that' MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCory Booker has a problem in 2020: Kamala Harris Booker to supporter who wanted him to punch Trump: 'Black guys like us, we don't get away with that' Tulsi Gabbard fundraises off 4/20: 'Appalls me' that feds consider marijuana illegal MORE (D-Calif.) and perhaps Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeSanders announces first endorsements in South Carolina On The Money: Cain 'very committed' to Fed bid despite opposition | Pelosi warns no US-UK trade deal if Brexit harms Irish peace | Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job Ex-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump 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.