“We have to reach up and get this value that's getting sucked out of your communities and bring it back to you in the form of this freedom dividend of $1,000, a month for every American adult.”

Final Caucus Rally
Des Moines Marriott Downtown
Des Moines, Iowa
February 1, 2020


CONRAD TAYLOR: ...I'd like to start by introducing one of our best field organizers in the state, Mike French.

MIKE FRENCH: Thank you so much, Conrad. I appreciate the introduction. Guys, I just want to let you know if you look around and you see how many people we have in here, we are past the fire code, okay. We are past the fire code. And that's awesome.

We're so excited that you guys are out here this evening, because we have a very special message for you all; you're gonna get to hear from Andrew. I know a lot of you guys have been waiting for this. Some of you guys have never seen him before so we're so happy that you had time to be able to come here.

So again, my name is Mike French, I'm a field organizer. What that means is I work out of one of our field offices with volunteers to help coordinate efforts here. I was born and raised here in Des Moines, so this is basically my, my backyard, if you will. Work downtown. I've been all over the place. Thank you. But to get back to this though, we,—as a field organizer working with volunteers, something that I do a lot—and we need volunteers. So I just want to start by saying that as part of this campaign, I've been here for probably about a month or two now, and I've seen so many incredible things. I've learned so many incredible things. I've seen people from out of the country that have come here to support us. It's absolutely incredible what this campaign is putting together. I had no idea, I couldn't possibly envision the stories that I was going to come across and the people I was going to meet you know taking this position and I'm so, so just just thrilled and passionate about being here.

But, again, born and raised in Des Moines. I support Andrew primarily because he has the path forward. If anyone has seen or heard him speak, you understand he makes sense. He makes sense. And that's what's important. Because we need somebody that has the vision to lead us forward. It's not left it's not right. It's forward. And that's why you're all here tonight, because you want to hear this man speak.

So, I have a big request. I'm a field organizer. I help to work with volunteers because we need to get stuff done. We need to get people out there, we need boots on the ground, we need people knocking doors, e need people changing decisions and getting people from undecided to in the Yang Gang.

Two days. You guys know it's in two days? Iowa caucuses, that's right, two days away. And you know what, we are going to shock the world in two days. And you are going to be a part of that because we're gonna go out there and show them that this campaign is going to rock it and we're gonna hit the charts, we're gonna have that momentum to carry us forward, but we can't do it without help. So, I need volunteers and I need precinct captains because we need people who can go out there and stand in Yang's corner and lead. We need we need leaders, we need people that knock doors.

So I have a big request. I'm gonna make a hard ask right now to all of you. If you are committed to getting Andrew Yang where he needs to be—which by the way is the White House—I'm gonna ask you right now. Raise your hand if you are willing to volunteer to go knock doors for Andrew Yang, to go to talk to people, to get a little uncomfortable, go out there and make some decisions, and get some people turned into Yang Gang, because that's what we need, we need more Yang Gang; you can never have enough Yang Gang.

If you have your hands raised right now, keep 'em up. I want you to stand up. I want you to stand up right now with your hands raised, and I want you to give these guys a round of applause, because these are the people that are going to get us where we need to go.

[Chants: All the way, all the way]

Guys, if you have your hands raised, I want you to stay standing. I want you to stay standing. So here's what we're gonna do, you guys right now. [Video starts, then stops]. Volunteers. Volunteers right now. yang 2020 dot com slash ia.  Can you do that? That's what we need, we will get you set up, we will help you. I will help you. I have other people in the office that will help you, but we need you. It's not just standing here; it's not saying that you're going to just commit to it; it's committing to it, and doing it, and securing the bag, because that's what we do here. So again, I want to give one more round of applause to these guys. Thank you so much. If you are interested as well in being a precinct captain, please also get in contact with us.

And real quick, the other thing I want to tell you is tomorrow morning in Ames, Andrew is going to be helping with the canvass launch that we have out there, at 10 a.m.. So, if you want to see ... guess what you have another opportunity at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning—great opportunity for you to go out there and help dock this thing out. So again thank you guys so much I appreciate you all being here, and we're gonna shock the world here two days.

VIDEO "How to Caucus"

VIDEO "Longer Than Long Shot - A New Way Forward"

ANDREW YANG: ...what happened, what happened?  So all these rumors are flying, and one of the rumors we've gotten is that we did really, really well in that poll. Which would be completely 100% consistent with what I've seen on the ground over the last two weeks touring the state, because everywhere we've gone the crowd has been bigger, the energy higher; the excitement is real because we see that we can do better for ourselves and our families than we are doing right now. It is in our hands, it is in your hands, in the next 48 hours or so.

It's been a privilege campaigning here for the last nearly two years because you all have this unique ability to shape the future of our country. I'm looking around; I see some familiar faces. I see people who have come in from all over the country to knock on doors and canvass. Raise your hand if that's you. That's incredible. I've met people who weren't even from stateside; they landed and they say hey I'm came from Germany, I came from France, I came from Norway. Actually raise your hand if that's you. Well thank you for that. I just love the image too of someone from Denmark knocking on a door here in Iowa and being like, hey have you heard of Andrew Yang. Like, what are you doing here? And hopefully that starts a whole interesting conversation.

But there have been thousands of conversations because over 3,000 people have come here from outside of the state to knock on doors for the campaign in the last number of days, and I appreciate every single one of you.

Now the reason why all these people are here from out of Iowa is because Iowans are so crucially...can do something which the rest of us can only dream of, which is push this country in a new direction. I've done the math. Do you know how many Californians each Iowa caucus goer is worth? 

Audience: One thousand.

One thousand Californians each. That's right. So if you look around this room  tonight, how many of us are here together? I'm going to give a Trumpian estimate. There are 12,000 people here. It's the biggest hotel room anyone's ever seen. There's actually a fire code which is why we had to shut [inaud.]. There's nearly 800 people here today, and then another 200 or so that were left waiting outside. Eight hundred Iowans. I'm going to do the math on that. That's something like 20 football stadiums full of Californians worth of voting power. That's how much power is assembled in this room tonight. It's the power to actually transform the future of this country we love.

And when I go around the state, and I've been giving talks for the last number of weeks, months, even years, I talk about the issues that you've seen in your state. And the fundamental question that to me Democrats have not answered effectively at all, the fundamental question is this: How did Donald Trump win your state, a purple swing state, by almost ten points?

You know I was just talking to my team about how much I love being here in Iowa, and we were talking about you know we're going going to campaign here, we're going to shock the world on Monday, and then I'm going to leave and then someone said to me, and this broke my heart, they said hey Andrew, FYI, you're probably not going to come back here and campaign in the general because this is no longer considered a swing state. Think about that. Is that the darkest thing you've ever heard, Iowa?

You know because if you're plus-10 to Trump that's actually not even purple anymore. So the question is how did that happen in your state? You know like I know you pride yourselves on being right up the middle. Many of you here in this room are avid, passionate Democrats. So why is it that this state has gone from blue or purple to red over the last number of years? That's a fundamental question and the Democrats have not been addressing it. I know it because I've been talking to Democrats around this state. It's not just Iowa, what's happened here.

Anytime my mike cuts, I say it's the Russians. They're always trying to mess with my events because they know I'm on my way to beating their guy.

If you were to turn on cable news at any point in the last several years, we've been offered a series of explanations as to why Donald Trump is our president today. You've seen 'em. I've seen 'em. You can all probably just shout them out. Just go ahead and shout out an explanation as to why Trump's our president. 

Audience responses.

Russia, Hillary Clinton, emails, Electoral College, Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, FBI, racism, fear, not a politician, tired of DC, ignorance.

All of these things mixed together and some people up here said things about the economy which I'll come back to in just a second.

So these are the reasons why Trump won according to the media. They say like this is it, all sewed together. This is why he's our president.

But, Iowa, I'm a numbers guy and the numbers have a very clear and direct story as to why he won. We automated away four million manufacturing jobs in the last number of years in this country and where were those jobs located? Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri and 40,000 of those jobs were right here in Iowa.

I have been to those towns where the manufacturing jobs dried up. After the plant closed, the shopping district closed, and then people left, the school shrank, and that's how it has never recovered.

I saw the same thing play out in Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, because I spent the last seven years running a nonprofit that helped create thousands of jobs around the Midwest and the South.

I was honored by the Obama administration multiple times so I got to bring my wife Evelyn to meet the president. My in laws were very excited about me for about a week. They said she did all right, check it out.

But unfortunately I had this sinking feeling that my work was like pouring water into a bathtub that had a giant hole ripped in the bottom, that the water was rushing out faster and stronger. And that was borne out by Trump's election, by when I went through the data, I saw that there's a straight line up between the adoption of industrial automation in a voting area and the movement to Trump in that area.

And unfortunately this is going to accelerate very quickly. How many of you noticed stores closing around where you live here in Iowa?

And why are those stores closing?

Audience: "Amazon."

10 years ago you would have said Walmart. Walmart was like a tank that came into town and started running over mom and pop retailers, but now it's Amazon. Amazon's like a spaceship hovering over the whole thing, sucking up $20 billion of business every year. Closing 30% of your malls and stores. I was just in a mall here in Iowa a few days ago where the JC Penney just closed. And we know that these malls can go from cheery to spooky awfully quick.

The most common job in the economy is retail clerk. The average retail clerk is a 39 year old woman making between eight and $12 an hour. What is her next job going to be when the store closes?

We don't know.

How much an Amazon pay in federal taxes last year?

Audience: "Zero."

That is the math, Des Moines.  Twenty billion out, thirty percent of your stores close, the most common job disappears, and you get zero back. That is why so many people here in Iowa feel like their communities are getting sucked dry, and it's even worse in rural parts of the state.

It's not stopping at the factories or your main street stores, when you go to call the customer service line of a big company and you get a bot or a software on the other end, I'm sure you do the same thing I do, which is you dial 0, 0, 0, say human, human, representative, representative over and over again 'til you get someone on the line. Raise your hand if that's what you do. Oh yeah, we all do it; we're all like a person still works at this company somewhere and I'm going to find 'em.

But in two or three short years, Des Moines, the software is going to sound like this. Hello, Andrew, how are you? What can I do for you? It'll be fast, seamless, efficient; you might not even know it's software unless you're paying close attention. What will this mean for the two and a half million Americans who are working at call centers right now making 10 to $14 an hour?

He yelled out, Amazon drone pilots. Maybe we can all fly drones for Amazon until they figure out how to let the drones fly themselves.

How many of you all know a truck driver here in Iowa? It's the most common job in 29 states; three and a half million truckers. My friends in California are working on self driving trucks that don't need a driver. They tell me they're 98% of the way there. What will a robot truck mean for the three and a half million truckers in our communities, 94% men, average age 49, or the 7 million plus Americans who work at truckstops, motels and diners that rely on the truckers getting out and having a meal each day.

Des Moines, we're in the midst of the greatest economic and technological transformation in the history of our country, what experts are calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution. When's the last time you heard a politician even say the words Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Three seconds ago. And I'm barely a politician.

This is what led me to run for president. I went to our nation's capital in DC and I said to our leaders, what are we going to do to help our people manage this transformation that is ripping our communities apart? Iowa has been ground zero. It started on your farms, mechanizing and consolidating away thousands of agricultural jobs. Then it moved to your factories, wiping out 40,000 jobs and counting, shuttering many of those towns for good. Now it's on your main streets and your malls; eventually it will be on your highways. So I went to our nation's capital, and I said what are we going to do to help our people manage this transition?

And what do you think the folks in DC said to me when I asked them what are we going to do? 

Audience responses.

What transition? Who are you? Build a wall, that's about right.

Those were close to the answers I got out of DC.

The real answers I got were, one, we cannot talk about this, too. Two, we should study this further, maybe appoint a commission. And number three, we must educate and retrain all Americans for the jobs of the future. Raise your hand if you heard that one.

Yes, learn to code; learn to code, Iowa.

I looked at the studies. Do you all want to guess how effective the government funded retraining programs were for the manufacturing workers who lost their jobs in the Midwest. 

Audience responses.

You know it's low because I'm anchoring you low, but you also know it's low because you have common sense and you know people. You know if you have hundreds of manufacturing workers get laid off, they don't all march outside and say, I'm here for my coding retraining program. I'll be at my laptop in no time.

The success rates on these programs are between zero and 15%; they were a total dud. The reality is that almost half of the manufacturing workers in the Midwest who lost their jobs left the workforce and did not work again. Of that group almost half filed for disability.

We then saw surges in suicides and drug overdoses in these communities, to the point where America's life expectancy declined for three years in a row. First time in 100 years that's happened, Iowa. Last time was the Spanish Flu of 1918, a global pandemic that killed millions. You have to go back 100 years to find another point in American history where life expectancy declined like this, because life expectancy almost never goes down in a developed country. It ordinarily goes up and up because you're getting richer, stronger and healthier. But here in the US and went down and down and down again.

When I said this to the folks in DC they had nothing for me for. But one said something that sent me here to you all tonight. He said Andrew, you're in the wrong town. No one here in DC will do anything about this because fundamentally Washington, DC is a town of followers, not leaders, and the only way we would do something about it is if you were to create a wave in other parts of the country, and bring that wave crashing down in our heads. And I said, challenge accepted; I'll be back with a wave in two years.

And Iowa this is it. You are the wave starting on Monday night, and I cannot wait.

We have to reach up and get this value that's getting sucked out of your communities and bring it back to you in the form of this freedom dividend of $1,000, a month for every American adult.

You know you're here tonight, you either like the idea or you're at least interested in the idea, but how many of you think that it's literally too good to be true for every American to get $1,000 a month? Go on raise your hand.

It is fine. Get these people out of here. Kidding. [inaud.]

All right. This is not my idea and it's not a new idea. Thomas Paine was for this at the founding of our country; he called it the citizens dividend for all American. Martin Luther King, whose birthday we celebrated just last week, was fighting for this when he was killed in 1968. I met with his son, who said this is what his father was fighting for when he was assassinated.

Man in Audience: "Black History Month"

Yeah, black history. That's right.

A thousand economists including Milton Friedman, one of the godfathers of modern economic thought, endorsed this plan in the 1960s. So mainstream it passed the U.S. House of Representatives twice in 1971 under Richard Nixon in the Family Assistance Plan, this close to being law. And then 11 years later one state passed a dividend where now everyone in that state gets between one and $2,000 a year, no questions asked. And what state is that?

Audience: "Alaska!"

And how does Alaska pay for it?

Audience: "Oil."

And what is the oil of the 21st century?

Audience: "Technology," "Data."

Data, technology, AI, self driving cars and trucks. A study came out recently that said that our data, your data is now worth more than oil. How many of you saw that study? How many of you got your data check in the mail last month?

If your data is now worth billions of dollars a year and you are not seeing a dime of it, where's all of that money going?

Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple—the trillion dollar tech companies that are paying zero or near zero back into our society. If we reach up and get the value that's being drained out of our communities—often even our own data—and give it back to you in the form of this freedom dividend, we can balance out what's happening between our families and these giant companies, what's happening between rural towns and big cities.

We're in the midst of the greatest winner take all economy in the history of the world right now, and it is going to get even more extreme as a lot of this technology comes out and gets stronger, faster, more capable.

The simple truth is this, this tech is getting smarter all the time. And the rest of us feel lucky to stay just about the same, you know, I mean. Some of the young people in here are like, I don't know what you're talking about; we're talking about getting smarter all the time. But the adults in the room know what I'm talking about. We feel lucky if we found our keys, you know what I mean. Like we're not getting smarter all the time, but the technology is. I have friends who are working on this AI right now. They know, I know what's coming. So with this context this thousand dollars a month in our hands actually is a necessary and vital step. Common sense, mainstream wisdom in the 60s and 70s, one state's already had it in effect for almost 40 years, particularly because after this money—

Sorry this side [goes to other side of the stage].

Particularly because after this money is in your hands, Iowa, where will it go? How much of it will stay right here in Iowa?

Not all of it. Most of it. You might get your own Netflix password. Someone up here is like, never.
But most of it will go to car repairs you've been putting off and daycare expenses and student loan payments, local nonprofits, religious organizations. Iowa, this is the Trickle Up economy from our people, our families and our communities up. This will make us stronger, healthier, mentally healthier, each and every day and free us up to do the kind of work that we want to do.

Because right now, we have record high corporate profits in this country. We're being told how great things are all of the time. Record high GDP, record high stock market prices, record low unemployment, but we're looking around and thinking I'm not sure things are actually that great.

And we are right.

We have record high corporate profits in this country, yes. What else do we have record high in the United States of America right now?

Audience responses.

Suicides, depression, overdoses, income inequality, homelessness, debt, student loan debt, medical debt, anxiety.

You know, you know all these things are at record highs. You know what's at record lows the United States of America right now, Iowa? Starting a business for a young person, getting married, having a child, all the things you associate with a thriving society are at record lows. If your corporate profits are up and your life expectancy is going down, which do you listen to? If you're us you listen to life expectancy. If you're Washington DC, you can't even see people and life expectancy anymore you just see dollar signs,

Washington, DC today is the richest city in our country. Think about that for a second. What do they produce?

Audience: Nothing.

None of us know. Their business is awfully good. Donald Trump's our president in part because he said he wanted to drain the swamp. Des Moines, I want to do something a little bit different. I want to distribute the swamp.

Why do we have hundreds of thousands of government workers in the most expensive city in our country? Why wouldn't we move some of those jobs to Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa. You'd save billions of dollars immediately. And I would argue that those government agencies would make better decisions because they were living someplace normal and not in a DC bubble where they talk to each other all the time.

Fundamentally we have to get our government working for us again because it's not working for us right now. Who is it working for? If your first name is big and your last name is company, they're working for you. If your name is anything other than those things, then they're not listening anymore.

This is one reason why I'm for term limits for members of Congress. Their job should be to represent you, do their work and then come home. It should not be to go there and say, ooh, I like it here; let me stay, let me stay.

And Des Moines, I know how we're going to pass it. I will be your President a year from now thank you for that. And then I wll go to Congress and say hey we should have 12 year term limits, both houses. It would make it much more dynamic and responsive, but current lawmakers are exempt. Do you think they'll pass that? Oh yeah they'll pass that the next day. They would say we do this for the American people, because it's no skin off their back, it just affects whoever comes in after them. But eventually they would leave and before you know it, we'd have a legislature that actually turns over.

The biggest problem is that the companies and their lobbyists have a stranglehold on government. We need to flush out the lobbyist cash. Now the ordinary Democratic talking point on this is we have to overturn Citizens United, get dark money out of politics. But, Des Moines, I'm going to say what we all know. The companies ran the government before that. So we have to go bigger.

My plan is to get every American voter 100 democracy dollars that you can give to any candidate or campaign to watch the lobbyists cash out. I'm going to do a little math on this 'cause its fun. Right now 5% of Americans donate to candidates or campaigns. So if you're in that 5%, thank you and if it was my campaign, thank you twice over. If you donate to someone else's campaign, you have to donate that amount more to me. Kidding.

So what percentage of Americans do you think would donate to a political candidate or campaign if you had 100 free dollars, use it or lose it each year, and you had to  decide who you like. What percentage?

Audience responses.

40, 50, 70. Someone at another event said 100 and I was like there's no way you get 100% of Americans to do anything.

But if you got it up to 50%, Iowa, we would wash out the lobbyist cash by a factor of four or five to one. Because if you get 10,000 Americans give you 100 democracy dollars that's a million dollars. And then if a lobbyist comes in waves, 60 or 70,000 at you, you say like I don't want to touch it, because the people will notice, they'll get mad at me, and I depend upon them to actually finance everything I do.

These are the big moves we have to make to get our government back working for us again. This is how someone who no one had ever heard of—just like you saw the video—no one had ever heard of or no one anyone had ever heard of oh, like 15 months ago, raised 16 and a half million dollars last quarter in increments of only $35 each. So my fans are almost as cheap as Bernie's.

But there was no corporate PAC money in there Des Moines; it was all just people donating 5,10, 15, $30, because they know that we need to get our government back under control. We need to put someone in the White House who does not owe the companies a dime, who just wants to try and do right by us and our families.

So, if you have an economy that's gone off the rails to the extent that ours has, we actually have
to start rewiring the rules and reevaluating what the goals are, because this economy is serving the big companies, their bottom line and pretending that is our family's bottom line. And I know how off- base the economic arrangements are because of Evelyn and my, my family at home.Evelyn is on her way back tonight to Iowa; we're going to be celebrating this weekend together.

And at every stop I've had here in Iowa, people have told me to thank Evelyn for sharing her story over the last couple of weeks. And I can't tell you how much my family has appreciated the outpouring of warmth and love and support. And we know that her story is not hers at all; it's a story that shared by all too many women here this country. And it's something that we all have to do much better job of trying to prevent from happening. And if it does happen, we have to make sure we're actually responding to the first woman not the 10th or the 12th or the 15th.

But Evelyn and the boys have loved spending time here in Iowa. And it's not just because of daddy's bus with daddy's giant face on the side. The boys definitely got a kick out of that.
It really messed up their expectations. Oh, anyway. Maybe they'll get used to Air Force One, who knows.

When people thank me for running for president, I say thank my wife, because one, she allowed me to run for president in the first place. But number two, because she's been sacrificing much more than anyone else in our family while I've been campaigning over the last number of months and years.

I know how hard the work she does every single day is. Anyone who's a parent knows. But what is her work valued at in our economic measurements as they currently stand?

Audience: Zero.

Evelyn gets a zero. Or how about every stay at home parent in our country?

Audience: Zero.

How about caregivers like [name inaud.] who are taking care of elderly loved ones?

Audience: Zero.

That's zero too. How about volunteers and activists trying to do something positive in our community?

Audience: Zero.

How about coaches and mentors investing in the next generation?

Audience: Zero.

Most the time that's a zero. How about 95% of artists I know as well? That's true. That's tough.

One thing we don't talk a whole lot about, Des Moines, local journalists, and this is not as much of a problem here in this part of Iowa, as it is in the rural parts of Iowa. But almost 2,000 newspapers have gone out of business over the last number of months because all of their advertising revenue went up to the internet and you can't actually support a newspaper on that. There are 200 counties in the United States of America right now that don't have any local paper at all. What does not function very well if you don't have local news?

Audience: Democracy.

Democracy. That's right, because how can you vote on what's going on in your community if literally no one is covering what's going on in your community. These are the things we're supposed to value most in our lives, our families, our community, our democracy, and Des Moines they're getting eroded one by one by one. The reason why Trump won your state by almost 10 points is that people are not excited about their future or the future of their families. That's the fundamental truth of it.

If you were born the 1940s in the United States— So first, your hand if you're a parent like me and Evelyn. If you're a parent like me and Evelyn, you have had this sinking feeling over the last number of days or weeks or months that we're leaving a future that is less bright, less secure, less prosperous for them than the lives that we have left.

Why do we feel that way? Because it's true. If you were born in the 1940s in the United States of America, there was a 93% chance you were going to do better than your parents did. That's the American dream. That's what brought my family here. That's what we aspire to be to our kids. But if you were born in the 1990s in the United States of America, you were down to a 50-50 shot and it is defining fast.

That is why the parents in this room feel the way we do. That is why the young people in this room feel the way you do. You feel like the deck is stacked against you in ways that were not true for previous generations. You are right. This is why things are heading in this direction in Iowa. This is what you all must turn around on Monday.

I want you to have a very, very different standard for you send to the White House. I have a sense that many people here in Iowa want to be proud of the next president, feel like they do the nation a service, feel like they sent someone in to the White House with a sense of honor and integrity. I do not think that is the right standard. I think the standard should be can this president actually improve the way of life for you, your family, your town or state? That is the standard I want you to hold me to as your president, Iowa. That is the whole reason I'm running.

I'm not running for president because I dreamt about being president of United States. Trust me, those were not the conversations in the Yang household. My parents were not telling me, you're gonna be president someday. They were more like you're terrible; clean your room.

But I'm a parent and a patriot who has seen the future that lies ahead for kids, and it is not something we should accept for them. They deserve better. We must give them better. And we must give them better starting on Monday night. You are the only people in the country who can make it happen, Iowa. There is no other Iowa.

If you [inaud.] this opportunity, what happens over the next four years? Over the next four years, more of your stores close, the tech gets smarter, the robot trucks come closer to the highways. We have to turn this around right now. This economy should have been balanced out on your behalf, on behalf of your families decades ago. Decades ago. That is why we feel the way we do. If we had gotten this right, Donald Trump would never have come anywhere near the White House.

And when Democrats talk as if Donald Trump is the source of all our problems, he is not. He is a symptom of a disease that has been building up for years, even decades, and Iowa it is up to us on Monday to start curing the disease.

When I talked to Evelyn about this campaign in the early days and we were going through the background of the freedom dividend, she was fascinated and she said, how could something that was so mainstream, front and center political wisdom, 1,000 economists, passes the U.S. House, gets passed in Alaska—how could something so mainstream 50, 60 years ago now seem so dramatic that it requires the futuristic Asian man to drag it into the light? Like what happened to our country over the last 50 or 60 years?

And what happened, Iowa, was that we've been collectively convinced that economic value and human value are the same thing, and that if you don't have economic value then you no longer have any value. And what we have to say to our fellow Americans on Monday night is that we each have intrinsic value as Americans, as citizens [inaud.] shareholders of [inaud.] country in the history of the world. We have to let our fellow Americans know, we do not exist to serve this economy, this economy exists to serve us and our families.

And if its not doing that then we must change it. You must change it. You must change it so we can look our kids in the eyes and say, your country, your country values you and your country will invest in you and your future.

If the children of Iowa and their parents are not excited about the future we will never win, we will never get our way back. That is the fundamental struggle that we are losing. We lose it here in Iowa, we lose it in Michigan, we lose it in Ohio, we lose it Missouri, we lose it in Pennsylvania; I've spent years in these places. I have seen the water level go down. There are only so many ways we can replenish the sense of optimism and abundance and, and sense of the future that Americans used to have. What has happened to us? What has happened to us?

We look around and we're getting baited into all these fake conflicts by these news media organizations that are just chasing advertising dollars. They figured out the more they can gin up various sensational conflicts then they get a little bit more advertising money while our way of life falls apart. Our democracy has been split between these two parties that have been playing I lose you lose, I lose, you lose. And you know who's been losing the whole time? Us. Us and our families.

This is what we have to change, Iowa. This is how someone comes out of nowhere and already outlasts and outcompetes half a dozen sitting senators, governors [inaud.] It's because we know, we are the ones who are going to solve our problems. We know that if you put economic resources in our hands we will know exactly what to do with it.

Donald Trump is our president today, Iowa, because he had a very simple and powerful message for the rest of the country and you, your state. He said he's going to Make America Great Again. want to stay. What did Hillary Clinton say in response? America is already great. You all remember that? There have been a long three years I know, Des Moines. But it's now coming to an end.

That response did not work for many Americans because the problems are all too real. Think about it. When I said what are the record highs, you knew exactly where we're at record highs. All of the ills in our society, you know that they've been building up for years. Saying that the problems are real is wrong. We have acknowledge the problems and their depth and their severity but then we need real solutions that will actually move our communities and our country forward.

What were Donald Trump's solutions?

Audience responses.

Build the wall. Turn the clock back. Bring the old jobs back. Des Moines you know, you know more than anyone, that we need to do the opposite of these things. We have to turn the clock forward. We have to accelerate our economy and society to rise to the real challenges of the 21st century like climate change. We have to evolve in the way we see ourselves and our work and our value.

I am the ideal candidate for this job because the opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math.

[inaud.] criteria that Democrats have for who the nominee's going to be and what is that number one criteria?

Audience: "Beat Donald Trump."

Beat Donald Trump, that's right. And so if you look up which candidate among us is the best situated to beat Donald Trump head to head.

Audience: "Andrew Yang."

And they're not just saying it because they believe it, though I appreciate it, but also because they know the facts. People bet money on the outcomes of these things. I am the heaviest betting favorite to defeat Donald Trump in a head to head match-up of anyone in the field. I am at 3 to 2 as the head to head favorite against Donald Trump. The next best candidate is even money. So then what are those gamblers—I'm not much of a gambler myself despite the Asianness—so what are these gamblers basing this decision on?

Its because they've seen all the surveys that show that 18% of college Republicans say they would choose me over the president. Ten percent of Donald Trump voters in New Hampshire would choose me over the president. You know who has figured out I am the president's nightmare worst matchup? The president. And here's how we know. I am the only candidate in the field he has not tweeted a word about the entire time. And he has not said a word about me for two reasons. Number one, he knows I am better at the internet than he is. And number two, what are his most potent attacks? You're a corrupt DC politician. None of that works on me at all. We know that he knows I'm his worst match-up because one of his advisors was caught on film at an event saying if there's one person we're worried about it's Andrew Yang.

If you put me head to head with Donald Trump, we're gonna live this thing very, very [inaud.]

And I can say this with authority because of something someone gave to me on the trail in Iowa this week. He came to me after an event and he pressed in my hand a Trump Pence inaugural membership card, and he said I will not be needing this anymore. [inaud.] And Iowa that happens to me at every single event, every single day. Someone comes to me and says I voted for Donald Trump—sometimes they say it like a secret, they lean in, they whisper it—but when they say it, I like jump for joy, I clap them on the back, I say you count at least twice. I don't want to put anyone on the spot here, but if you're willing to share how many people in this room voted for Donald Trump? Let's give them a round of applause.

And the reason we're drawing in disaffected Trump voters and independents and libertarians as well as Democrats and progressives is that many people who voted for Donald Trump see that I'm laser focused on solving the same problems that Trump pointed out, but I have actual solutions that they will see and feel. And a lot of it is just that they know that I see the problems and care about them every single day because I do. These problems are going to destroy us if we do not start addressing them.

And again, this is something I think Democrats have really dropped the ball on. That, we have to acknowledge that even if we get Trump out of office, does that reopen that mall? Does that make the trucker's job any more secure? Does that make us any more—[inaud.] a little more optimistic about our kids' future [inaud.]

But that's the work we have to do, Iowa. I am the man that beat Donald Trump. And the last people that are going to realize that are going to be the Democrats who are looking for the best candidate to take him on. But I think that more and more are realizing that they're looking at him right now.

Campaigning here in Iowa has been one of the greatest journeys of my life. I started coming here last summer. I've been to two state fairs, had four turkey legs. It's my 25th 26th trip. I've done over 160 events I think is the last count. And the people here have been so phenomenal to me and my family. My kids love spending time here. They made a little snowman and stuck some Yang 2020 on it and pretended they had created a voter.

I think that there is so much wisdom in you having in the future of the country in your hands on Monday. I think this process is the way it is for a reason, because I know you know exactly where you will take this country in 48 hours. Thank you for so—thank you for all that you've done for me and my family over the last number of months I will always appreciate it.

And very very soon Iowa it will be time to take this case to the rest of the country, to let the rest of the country know that we understand that we can do better for ourselves and our kids, that we can rewrite the rules so that they'll work for us, and not the big companies. Instead of saying, hey, these companies are doing great so we must also be doing great, we should be measuring our economic progress through our own health and life expectancy, our own mental health and freedom from substance abuse, clean air and clean water, childhood success rates, proportion of Americans who can retire in quality circumstances. As your President, I would modernize our economic measures around these measurements, and then report them to you every year at the State of the Union, I'd be the first president to use a PowerPoint deck at the State of the Union. [inaud.]

But the reason why I'm so passionate about this Iowa is you cannot solve a problem if you do not acknowledge it, if you do not know what it is. And if you have the right measurements you would see we're in a mental health depression, we're in a wellness crisis, we're in a civic engagement crisis. If you dig in and you see that you have problems then you can start to make the better. That's what this campaign must be about. It must be about improving your lives, the lives of the people right here in Iowa.

If we take that message to the rest of the country on Monday night, I guarantee you it will sweep the country, because the rest of the world has been waiting for this message for a long, long time, and you know, you can take this message to them by letting them know we're going to move this country not left, not right, but forward.

[inaud.]...let them know what people can still do in the United States of America. Thank you very much. God bless you. God bless the United States of America and God bless the people of Iowa.


: About 800 people attended this rally, and 200 more could not get in the room. 
Many of the people had come from out of stat to volunteer. Yang spoke for about 44 minutes. One can see how Yang engages the audience quite a few times with call and response questions. The opening is very topical; Yang is referring to the fact that the final installment of the CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll, planned for release on Saturday evening, had just been cancelled; he had been discussing the surprise development while waiting backstage.