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US elections 2020

Andrew Yang to end presidential bid, campaign sources say

Democratic neophyte's universal basic income idea fails to catch fire

Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang surprised many by attracting enough support to qualify for a series of Democratic debates, but was unable to break into the top flight of candidates.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Businessman Andrew Yang will suspend his bid for the Democratic nomination for U.S. president, campaign sources said on Tuesday.

Yang, 45, who ran for president despite having no political background, surprised many observers by qualifying for debates and remaining in the contest longer than some veteran politicians.

The Ivy League-educated son of Taiwanese immigrants, who was bidding to be the country's first Asian-American president, launched his longshot candidacy in 2017 as a virtual unknown.

Yang's signature proposal, a universal basic income that would pay every American $1,000 a month, was his answer to the "fourth industrial revolution," the rise of automation that he said destroyed millions of manufacturing jobs and, as a consequence, paved the way for Donald Trump's 2016 election.

"Donald Trump is not the cause of all our problems, and we're making a mistake when we act like he is," Yang said at a Democratic debate on Friday.

"He is a symptom of a disease that has been building up in our communities for years and decades." 

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