Andrew Yang and Dave Chappelle join forces in Ames

Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang sits next to Comedian Dave Chappelle in a changing room inside Stephens Auditorium. Chappelle endorsed Yang earlier this week and has advocated for many of Yang’s ideas such as Universal Basic Income.

By: Ryan Pattee, News Director

Comedian Dave Chappelle had announced his partnership with Andrew Yang earlier this month. Audience members in Stephens auditorium were able to see Yang at the end of the show, when Chappelle brought out the Democratic Presidential candidate, who urged Iowans to Caucus on Monday, February 3. However, before the show had even started, Dave Chappelle and Andrew Yang met with the press where they talked about their new partnership on the campaign trail.

“I was watching one of the early debates and someone asked me who I liked,” Chappelle explained. “I said ‘The Chinese guy’ he thought I was joking and told me Andrew’s name, that was the first time I ever heard it.” According to Chappelle, Yang had made a tweet stating that Chappelle was one of his favorite comedians. While talking to a neighbor about this, Chappelle was given one of Andrew Yang’s books. “I read the book, I couldn’t believe what I had just read,” Chappelle said. “I had my wife reach out to his campaign, in about a week they called me back and we ended up meeting in Los Angeles before a debate.” Chappelle claims what really got him was how Yang’s ideas could help the people in his own neighborhood, “The wealth disparity between me and my neighbors is immense, it’s heartbreaking and if you know a third of the people up the street can’t buy groceries, then you start to feel an imperative concern.”

Yang shared his thoughts of Chappelle and admired his concern for the country as well as how they could help it. “We bonded over the fact that we were both fathers and that we both have the same hopes and dreams for the future of this country,” Yang said. “Dave is such a profound thinker in so many ways, it just felt like something brought us together, mainly his wife.” Yang also used the time to speak about the main points of his campaign including universal income, the shrinking labor force and uniting what he claims is a divided nation. 

“We’re at a point where it’s not about politics anymore, it’s actually about solving the problems that are getting bigger and stronger all the time,” said Yang. “To me, Democrats are making a really big mistake when they treat Trump as the source of all our problems. He’s a symptom of a disease that has been building for years and we have to get to work curing the disease and that’s something our team leaders feel strongly about, entrepreneurs, parents, it’s something that all Americans can get behind.”

Both men held the other in high regard, treating each other as equals who are doing their best to help the country. “It’s not the norm for someone of Dave’s stature as a celebrity to come and throw down with a candidate or a campaign speaks to the kind of man Dave is and I appreciate the hell out of him,” Yang said. In turn, Chappelle said about Yang, “This guy’s got some great ideas, you should check it out.” 

The Iowa Caucus will be held in various locations across the state on Monday, February 3 at 7 pm.

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