Tom Steyer, billionaire activist, announces 2020 presidential run

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday morning, billionaire and activist Tom Steyer became the most recent Democrat to join the race for president. 

In a video posted on YouTube, Steyer argued that his campaign will aim to get money out of politics and address the impact of climate change. 

“Almost every major single intractable problem, at the back of it, you see a big money interest for whom stopping progress, stopping justice is really important to their bottom line,” he said. 

Acknowledging his wealth, which Forbes estimates at $1.6 billion, Steyer said in the video that he had signed the Giving Pledge, a “promise to give away half of your wealth while you’re alive to good causes.” 

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“Corporate money has corrupted our democracy and stripped Americans of our ability to determine our own future,” Steyer said in a release. “The only way for us to solve the urgent problems facing our country is to loosen the stranglehold that corporations have over our politicians and return political power to the American people.”

Steyer recently gained national prominence at the helm of progressive advocacy groups like Need to Impeach, which organizes grassroots efforts to impeach President Donald Trump and claims to have an email list of over 8.2 million Americans. He also leads NextGen America, a climate-oriented advocacy group. In January 2019, he said he would not be joining the presidential race, saying he would instead be “strengthening my commitment to Need to Impeach.”  

Republican National Committee spokesman Steve Guest responded to Steyer’s announcement, saying Steyer would just “light more of his money on fire” after a “false start.” 

“After a false start, left-wing extremist Tom Steyer has finally formalized his self-promotion tour under the guise of a presidential campaign,” Guest said. “The only thing Steyer’s campaign will do is light more of his money on fire as he joins the rest of the 2020 Democrat field in pushing policies that are way outside the mainstream.”

Steyer is one of 24 Democrats in the race, and he enters the race late, after the first Democratic presidential debate. The next Democratic presidential debate is scheduled for July 30 and July 31 in Detroit.  

On Monday afternoon, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., dropped out of the presidential race, saying he wanted to run for re-election to the House instead of continuing his long-shot bid for the presidency. 

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