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 BidenButtigieg campaign claims 'irregularities' in Nevada caucuses Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenPoll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll Sanders has wide leads in two of three battleground states: survey MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Buttigieg campaign claims 'irregularities' in Nevada caucuses Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisClyburn: Biden 'suffered' from not doing 'enough' in early debates Sanders is a risk, not a winner House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime MORE (D-Calif.) and perhaps Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeCNN signs Andrew Yang as contributor Krystal Ball: Voters are coming to their own judgements about who is electable Warren campaign to host series of events in Texas 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.