Andrew Yang gave Tom Steyer an unexpected compliment on the Democratic debate stage

Kathryn Krawczyk

The Democratic debate just got... nice?

Things were pretty tame as the fifth Democratic primary debate kicked off on Wednesday night, with candidates only jabbing each other slightly on wealth taxes and other platform differences. But when entrepreneur Andrew Yang got his first question of the night, he used it to give the contender standing next to him some genuine praise.

As the furthest left candidates tout plans to get big-money donors out of politics, the only billionaire on the stage, Tom Steyer, discussed how he'd long used his money to support his political ideals. In his view, his donations were used to "push power down to the American people" and to "take power away from the corporations who bought our government," he said.

While some candidates would likely go after Steyer for how his anti-corporate words seem at odds with his big-money spending, Yang, the next candidate to respond, took another approach. "I want to stick up for Tom," Yang said. "We have a broken campaign finance system, but Tom has been spending his own money fighting climate change, and you can't knock somebody for having money and spending it in the right way." Steyer then thanked Yang for the compliment, and Yang said "no problem," earning a big laugh from the crowd. Watch the surprisingly kind moment below.



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