Presidential candidate and entrepreneur Andrew Yang (D) revealed during a recent appearance on the H3 Podcast that other campaigns collude with television networks ahead of the debates to help them set up attacks against other candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden.
Yang, who is in sixth place in polling despite getting the least amount of establishment media coverage, told co-hosts Ethan and Hila Klein that he feels like he is a “layperson” who made it to the debates and often finds himself thinking, “What the hell is going on?”
“And you know, one thing I’ll share with y’all is that some of the campaigns are in touch with the TV network ahead of time to talk about what sort of attack they want to level on the stage,” Yang said. “The campaign says, ‘Hey, we’re going to make this attack against Biden,’ and the network goes, ‘OK, like we get it,’ and they help create the opportunity.”
Yang continued: “Yeah, it’s quite a disaster… I think I’m a layperson who happens to find himself on the presidential debate stage being like, ‘What the hell is going on? What’s happening? I’m not on this conference call.’”
After the first debate, Yang revealed that MSNBC muted his microphone while letting other establishment candidates with lower poll numbers interject. Yang, despite polling better than half of the people on stage with him, has been asked the least number of questions and given the least amount of airtime during the first two debates. He interestingly has been the only candidate who has neither attacked an opponent nor been attacked by another candidate.
During the second debate in Detroit, Yang’s broke the proverbial fourth wall in his closing statement and blasted the debates for being like a reality TV show. His closing statement immediately went viral.
“You know what the talking heads couldn’t stop talking about after the last debate? It’s not the fact that I’m somehow number four on the stage in national polling. It was the fact that I wasn’t wearing a tie. Instead of talking about automation and our future, including the fact that we automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs, hundreds of thousands right here in Michigan, we’re up here with makeup on our faces and our rehearsed attack lines, playing roles in this reality TV show. It’s one reason why we elected a reality TV star as our president,” Yang said. “We need to be laser-focused on solving the real challenges of today, like the fact that the most common jobs in America may not exist in a decade, or that most Americans cannot pay their bills. My flagship proposal, the freedom dividend, would put $1,000 a month into the hands of every American adult. It would be a game-changer for millions of American families.”