Dave Chappelle told Iowans that he is backing Andrew Yang for president because of his commitment to help close the wealth gap in America.
“The wealth disparity between me and my neighbors is immense. It’s heartbreaking,” Chappelle said in Iowa on Tuesday, according to the Des Moines Register. “And if you know a third of the people up the street can’t buy groceries, then you start to feel an imperative concern. It’s not the kind of thing I could just see and hope for the best, I should probably say something.”
Chappelle said he couldn’t remain neutral this election season. He said he came on board after watching Yang in the debates and reading his book, The War on Normal People. But he said what really nailed it for him was Yang’s “freedom dividend,” which promises a universal basic income.
“If people listen to me, so be it, if they don’t, so be it, but I know I’m doing my civic duty by just saying the thing I believe in,” the comedian said, according to the Register. “This is without irony or a punchline, I’m just telling you — this guy’s got some great ideas, you should check it out.”
Chappelle joins quite a few other high-profile people who have endorsed Yang, including actor and rapper, Donald Glover, Tesla founder, Elon Musk, and Weezer singer Rivers Cuomo.
Chappelle told reporters in Iowa that Yang is a good candidate for on-the-fence Trump supporters because he has fresh ideas and a great approach to moving the country forward.
“I don’t look at Trump supporters as my enemy at all,” Chappelle said. “I understand why people voted for Trump. I understand people are desperate. And I think that Andrew is right you run against the reasons that Trump got elected. I got friends on both sides of the political aisle. I got fans on both sides of the political aisle. A lot of people say professionally it’s not wise to support any candidate, but this idea is so good, that I think it should exist.
“And I think the fountainhead of many of the good ideas on the table this year are coming from a single source — Andrew Yang. And for some reason, no one’s paying attention,” Chappelle added. “This guy is the origin of a platform that really does address where I think the country needs to go.”
Yang said he is grateful to have Chappelle’s support.
“It’s not necessarily the norm for someone of Dave’s stature as a celebrity to come and throw down with a political candidate or a campaign,” Yang told the Register. “But that just speaks to the kind of man Dave is, and I appreciate the hell out of him.”