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 BidenJoe BidenBiden compares Trump to George Wallace Sanders unveils plan to guarantee the 'right to a secure retirement' CNN Democratic debate drawing finishes third in cable news ratings race MORE and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro is behind in the polls, but he's finding a niche Gabbard arrives in Puerto Rico to 'show support' amid street protests Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard arrives in Puerto Rico to 'show support' amid street protests Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall Sanders unveils plan to guarantee the 'right to a secure retirement' MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWhat to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much Biden compares Trump to George Wallace CNN Democratic debate drawing finishes third in cable news ratings race MORE (D-Calif.) and perhaps Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeThe Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally 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.