02:28 - Source: CNN
Yang: When we're talking about Trump, we're losing
Washington CNN —  

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang on Thursday said the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump may not help Democrats win back the White House in 2020 given the closing window for the party to “present a positive vision for the country.”

“The fact is Donald Trump thrives on attention, even negative attention,” Yang told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”

“And so the concentration on the impeachment proceedings – I don’t think is going to work for the Democrats particularly because not a single Republican has crossed party lines to say that they’re actually in a fact finding mode and trying to figure out what’s happening with this administration. They’re being obstructionist and trying to find ways to defend the President and the administration.”

Yang’s comments come after an explosive week of public testimony that saw multiple government officials link Trump and his advisers to a Ukraine pressure campaign. Privately, Democrats are anticipating a busy December that will be filed with proceedings before the House Judiciary Committee, including public hearings and a markup, and a likely vote to impeach Trump on the House floor by Christmas Day, according to multiple Democratic sources.

Yang, however, cautioned that his party should stay “laser focused on solving the problems that got Donald Trump elected.”

“As someone who’s in the field campaigning alongside Senator Klobuchar and Senator Warren and Bernie and everyone else, I would hate to see half the field disappear to Washington for Senate proceedings, which looks like it really could be the case given the timing,” he said. “So to me, that’s one of the reasons why this impeachment process may not help the Democrats in 2020.”

Yang has managed to navigate a crowded Democratic primary with impressive fundraising and a unique coalition of loyal supporters who back the dominant issue of his campaign: The Freedom Dividend, a plan to give every American adult $1,000 a month.

He said Thursday that while the impeachment inquiry hearings are “confirming some of our worst suspicions about the administration beyond President Trump,” it’s still not a top priority for the voters he talks to.

“Voters are more focused what we can do to improve the conditions on the ground, what a candidate’s vision is for the country, how we can re-write the rules of the 21st century economy to work for us,” he said.

CNN’s Dan Merica and Manu Raju contributed to this report.