Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks as he presents a power point presentation at a campaign stop at the Octagon Center For the Arts, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
UPDATED 9:46 AM PT — Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Two presidential candidates who did not qualify for this week’s Democrat debate chose to hold their own campaign events instead.
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang held rallies in Iowa earlier this week as #AmericaNeedsYang began trending on social media. Just buildings away from where half a dozen of his fellow candidates took the stage Tuesday, Yang drew an estimated 700 people to Drake University’s Olmsted Center.
The 2020 hopeful gave a speech focused on technological unemployment as well as the opioid crisis. Yang said the U.S. needs to stay competitive with China in developing AI and 5G, while also holding Big Pharma accountable.
“This is not a money problem because no amount of money gives people their loved ones back, but money can not be the obstacle,” he stated. “We need to take those tens of billions of dollars, claw it all back, and put it back into our communities to help people get off the drugs.”
Meanwhile, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard kicked off a Town Hall meeting in New Hampshire by addressing recent tensions with Iran.
“”What do we do?” she asked? “Lets fix this broken policy, end these regime change wars, and stop creating this situation that actually strengthens these terrorist organizations.”
File – Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii speaks to Democrats gathered at the Spratt Issues Conference in Greenville, S.C.(AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)
Last month, Gabbard announced she would not attend the Democrat National Convention regardless of whether she qualified. She has long accused the event of being biased and has said there’s a lack of transparency with regards to how it determines the top candidates.
Neither Gabbard nor Yang met the DNC’s requirements to participate in Tuesday’s debate after failing to obtain five percent support in at least four approved polls.