Once offstage, he doubled-down on his answer, telling CNN that he doesn’t remember “anyone [on the campaign trail] asking me a question about impeachment.”
“Americans are not focused on this in the same way the networks are,” he said.
He pointed to the lack of bipartisan congressional support, particularly in the GOP-controlled Senate: “To me, there’s a crucial number of zero. That’s the number of Republicans that signaled they’ll cross party lines; you need 20 in the Senate.
“Until that becomes greater than zero. It seems like a foregone conclusion.”
His stance on the issue stood in contrast to those of the other six candidates on the Los Angeles debate stage, most of whom painted Wednesday’s impeachment vote as a matter of constitutional defense.
“It was a constitutional necessity for the House to act as it did,” former Vice President Joe Biden replied. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren labeled it “a constitutional moment.”
“I was disappointed — I seem to have the lone difference of opinion up there,” Yang said on CNN after the debate. “Everyone else was impeachment, impeachment.”
But “Americans are saying, ‘I don’t care as much as I’m choosing between drugs or heating oil,'” he went on. “Those are the issues voters are focused on.”
“You can’t blame a TV network for saying impeachment is like the news of the day. It is historic. [But] as a candidate running for president, I need to be talking about things that are different from impeachment.”
The House voted Wednesday to approve two articles of impeachment against Trump, making him only the third commander in chief in U.S. history to be impeached.
Proceedings head next to the Senate, where lawmakers are expected to hold a trial on whether to remove Trump from office — though Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to provide the articles to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a move required to kick-start the process.
Earlier in the week, polls showed Americans as almost evenly split on whether to impeach Trump remove him from office.