Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang revealed on Friday that his all-time favorite American president is former President Theodore Roosevelt, a noted Republican statesman.
“I’m a big Teddy Roosevelt fan because he seemed very bipartisan and solutions-oriented,” Yang said during an interview with The Hill. “Breaking news, Andrew Yang is a Roosevelt [fan].”
The beloved 26th president and known conservationist has been frequently ranked as one of the five best presidents in United States history. His face appears alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln on Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.
However, Yang has a more personal admiration for the former commander in chief.
“I’m actually his great-granddaughter’s godfather,” Yang told The Hill. “So, I feel, like, an affinity in that way.”
Yang is not the only prominent Democratic politician to nod at Roosevelt. In 2011, former President Barack Obama attacked GOP policies in a speech invoking the late Republican president.
Years later he tried to compare his presidency to that of the aptly-named “Great Conservationist.” After using the 1906 Antiquities Act to quadruple the size of a national marine monument off the coast of Hawaii, the progressive president touted the massive federal land grab as an undertaking even larger than what Roosevelt was able to accomplish, reported Roll Call.
“I have to say that Teddy Roosevelt gets the credit for starting the national parks system,” Obama said in 2016. “But when you include a big chunk of the Pacific Ocean, we have now actually done more acreage than any other president.”
Yang is also not the only 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful to look up a top member of the Republican Party.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) revealed only weeks earlier that former President Abraham Lincoln is her all-time favorite president and one of her favorite politicians behind former Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-NY), who was the first black woman elected to the United States Congress.
Lincoln was notably the country’s first Republican president.
Yang was one of the first Democratic contenders to announce that he was officially launching a bid for the party’s nomination to the presidency. His presidential campaign kicked off in November 2017, nearly three years prior to the election.
The 44-year-old entrepreneur was initially viewed as a long-shot candidate, however, he has begun to establish a devoted following and is currently polling as a top-10 candidate in the crowded Democratic primary field.
Yang’s campaign focuses around implementing his self-declared Freedom Dividend program, which is a universal basic income of $1,000 per month for every American over the age of 18. Individuals would receive an annual check of $12,000 to use as they see fit.
The idea behind the Freedom Dividend is that United States citizens would earn additional money as a way to guarantee that all Americans benefit from the technology that replaces workers.
Yang announced earlier in August that he has qualified for the upcoming Democratic primary debate, which will further boost his campaign.