The election of Donald Trump is why Democratic hopeful Andrew Yang decided to run for president.
» Subscribe to CNBC Make It.: http://cnb.cx/2kxl2rf
"I found that to be a major red flag about the direction of our country. I see him as an emblem to the accelerating disintegration of our way of life," Yang, 44, tells CNBC Make It from his New York City campaign headquarters in February. (A White House spokesperson declined to comment.)
Yang is 5 feet, 11 inches tall. On the day CNBC interviews him, he has on navy pants, a navy blazer and a blue button-down shirt. If you scroll through his Instagram feed, it seems to be the Yang uniform. There are a few shots where he's wearing jeans, but Yang is not flashy.
He smiles a lot and throws his arm around people casually and comfortably.
His campaign headquarters is one large room with high ceilings, desks around the perimeter, a gray couch in one corner and a handful of motivational signs on the walls. One of those signs is, of course, a "Yang for President" banner. Another — printed in the same dark blue, white and red as the campaign banner — has one word: "Math."
"One of my supporters said something to me — that the opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math," Yang tells CNBC Make It. "We made 'math' signs and then people just hold up 'math' signs. … And so we think that's a great sign of the direction we need to go and how this campaign is different."
The campaign has even started selling "math" baseball caps. As of Wednesday, the first 500 $50 limited-edition hats were sold out.
Just above the "Math" sign in Yang's campaign headquarters, there is a printed sign with a quote from a New York Times article: "Andrew Yang is a longer-than-long shot for the White House."
Yang relishes the label. "We love the characterization," he says. "It shows where we started and ... how much we're going to shock the world." But he has made such a splash of late that, on Tuesday, FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver tweeted, "Yang has crossed the threshold where we consider him a major candidate."
Whatever his position among the many Democratic hopefuls, Yang does have an entrepreneurial track record that demonstrates his capacity to produce results. Yang was previously CEO of test-prep education company Manhattan GMAT, which industry leader Kaplan bought for an undisclosed amount in 2009. He also founded Venture for America, a New York City-based nonprofit organization that trains entrepreneurs in a two-year fellowship program.
In the summer of 2017, he says: "I told my wife, 'Hey, it looks like I am going to run for president.' And then she said, 'That's great, pass the salt' or whatever, you know and just went on with our dinner. ... We've been together for a long time, and I am a serial entrepreneur. I started a multimillion-dollar organization out of thin air ... so she's kind of accustomed to taking on big challenges."
Read more about Andrew Yang here: https://cnb.cx/2TSP5Nx
About CNBC Make It.: CNBC Make It. is a new section of CNBC dedicated to making you smarter about managing your business, career, and money.
Connect with CNBC Make It. Online
Get the latest updates: http://www.cnbc.com/make-it
Find CNBC Make It. on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBCMakeIt
Find CNBC Make It. on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBCMakeIt
Find CNBC Make It. on Instagram: http://bit.ly/InstagramCNBCMakeIt
Find CNBC Make It. on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/2OIdwqJ
Meet Andrew Yang, the 44-year-old running for president who wants to give Americans $1,000 free cash per month | CNBC Make It.