Andrew Yang got to push his new book and talk about the new political party he’s attempting to launch during an interview on Saturday, but once the plugging was over, CNN’s Jim Acosta pressed the former president and New York City mayoral candidate on why he agreed to speak with Tucker Carlson recently.
“I want to ask you, Andrew, because you’re talking about fixing this system and you’re talking about, you know, bringing in better people into the political process, but I have to ask you about an interview that you did with Tucker Carlson recently,” Acosta said. “It took a bizarre turn when Tucker suddenly brought up the Unabomber. I want to play that and ask you about this on the other side.”
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CNN then showed a video clip from Carlson’s web-only show where, while speaking with Yang, the Fox News host gave credit to the Unabomber for an unoriginal idea about how large organizations can sometimes systematically morph into a self-protecting entity first and foremost.
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“Ted Kaczynski, I have to say, has written very convincingly on this. The Unabomber — bad person but smart analysis, I think, of the way systems work,” Carlson said in the clip. “And his argument is that large organizations, over time, morph into purely self-preservation projects. Like a big, a big system, in the end, protects itself, and that’s kind of all it does. So, our two-party system is certainly in that category.”
Acosta then confronted Yang about why he didn’t push back when Carlson drew on a murder’s point of view and asked why he’d speak with someone who “spouts off white nationalist talking points.”
“I mean, Andrew, I just have to ask, I mean, Tucker Carlson… let’s just say he’s just a bad person. And he represents so much of what is wrong in television news these days,” the host said. “You know this all too well. He spouts off white nationalist talking points. And so why would you even go on his show and why didn’t you go after him when he’s citing the Unabomber? I mean, just crazy stuff.”
Yang’s compromised his actions by saying that speaking with the Tucker’s of the world is his attempt at quelling the angst between those who disagree politically.
“One of the things we have to do, Jim, is try and take the temperature of the country down. And the only way to do that is to reach out to people where they are,” Yang said, adding, “As, you know, Tucker commands a massive audience. And if you wanted to try to build a unifying popular movement that does call attention to the fact that our system is not working really for anyone, you have to, again, reach out. And that’s what I was doing on that show.”
It makes sense that Yang is seeking support for his new party in places like Fox News. After all, he has failed to secure the Democratic nomination for both president (he couldn’t consistently break 5 percent in polls) and mayor of New York City (where he started polling as high as 32 percent before falling to other candidates).
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