Yang was reacting to the Democratic National Committee’s decision to add a new method for contenders to qualify for the Feb. 7 debate in New Hampshire.
Besides the criteria for the number of polls in which the candidate must have at least 5% in four qualifying polls, or 7% in New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina, as well as 225,000 unique donors, the DNC added one more way a presidential hopeful can qualify. The candidate must get one delegate out of the 41 delegates in the Feb. 3 Iowa Caucus.
That opens the possibility for Yang to join the six other candidates on the debate stage. Judging by his tweet, Yang is confident he’ll get at least one delegate.
The DNC has taken flak since no candidate of color qualified for Tuesday’s debate in Des Moines, Iowa. Neither Yang or Tulsi Gabbard met the criteria for the January debate. Cory Booker, an African American, and Julian Castro, a Mexican American, dropped out prior to the debate.
“That’s the last debate I’ll miss,” Yang tweeted Wednesday, the morning after the most recent debate. “Missing a debate has destroyed other campaigns. It fuels ours.”
The optics of the all-white candidates onstage during the debate was not good for a party that touts the diversity in the Democratic Party and both Castro and Booker argued the debate criteria worked against candidates of color.
A day after the debate, as a guest on The Late Show, Yang explained to host Stephen Colbert why there were no candidates of color in the debate:
“What I said at the debate before this one [is that] fewer than 5% of Americans donate to political campaigns. You need disposable income to contribute to campaigns, and you need some form of security in order to run for office. So what happened on the stage last night reflects the inequities and realities in our economy,” Yang said.
“We should be more concerned with changing those realities on the ground. And if we did that then the stage would look very different. If you have communities of color who are just making ends meet, they don’t have the resources to contribute to campaigns at very high levels, and so you wind up with a stage that does not reflect the population of the country.”
The Feb. 7 debate will take place at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire — co-hosted by ABC, ABC affiliate WMUR-TV and Apple News.
Additionally, Democrats plan for two more debates in February: in Las Vegas on Feb. 19 and another in Charleston, S.C., on Feb. 25. Qualifying criteria for those debates have not yet been announced.
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