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Billionaire Tom Steyer will not run for president in 2020

Billionaire Tom Steyer will not run for president in 2020, he told reporters here in Iowa on Wednesday, endi...

Posted: Jan 10, 2019 6:20 AM
Updated: Jan 10, 2019 6:20 AM

Billionaire Tom Steyer will not run for president in 2020, he told reporters here in Iowa on Wednesday, ending months of speculation that the Democratic donor would escalate his efforts to defeat President Donald Trump by attempting to take him on at the ballot box.

Steyer, a 61-year-old hedge fund manager, said he will instead focus on his efforts to take on Trump from the outside, namely through Need to Impeach, a group he founded after Trump's win in 2016 that looked to garner public support around impeaching Trump.

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"Now the impeachment question has reached an inflection point," he said. "Therefore, I will be dedicating 100% of my time, effort and resources to one cause, working for Mr. Trump's impeachment and removal from office."

He added: "I am not running for president at this time. Instead, I am strengthening my commitment to Need to Impeach in 2019 until the House starts impeachment proceedings or Mr. Trump resigns."

Steyer, who spent about $120 million to influence the 2018 midterm elections, has been one of the Democratic Party's most prolific donors since leaving his hedge fund in 2012 to pursue political activism full time.

In recent years, he's sought to make himself the face of the anti-Trump resistance by funding and starring in television commercials calling for the President's impeachment and staging dozens of town hall meetings. Over the course of his campaign, Steyer has amassed a valuable political asset: a list of nearly 7 million people who have signed on to his impeachment effort.

Steyer said on Wednesday that he would use that email list -- as well as an additional $16 million in money to Need to Impeach -- to drum up more support for impeaching Trump.

His efforts will include a "public education campaign to deepen Americans' understanding of Trump's impeachable offenses" and "grass-roots efforts starting in early primary and caucus states urging presidential candidates to back impeachment."

In particular, Steyer said, he would focus on the constituents of Reps. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, Adam Schiff of California, Maxine Waters of California, Jerrold Nadler of New York and Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the members of Congress who would spearhead an investigation and possibly impeachment of the President.

Steyer also said he would focus efforts and money on the 22 Republican-held Senate seats up for re-election in 2020.

"Some continue to argue that holding this President accountable for his illegal, immoral behavior would be too divisive. They are avoiding the truth," Steyer said. "Mr. Trump has made division the centerpiece of his presidency. He does not govern. He creates crises to remain in power. As he did last night: Mr. Trump gave a nationally televised address where he once again lied to the American people, repeatedly, for his own political skin."

This is not the first time Steyer has flirted with a political run only to back out.

The billionaire announced in January of 2018 that he would not challenge his fellow California Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and would instead plow millions into helping his party seize the House majority that year. And he announced that he was considering running against Hillary Clinton in 2016 before declining to do so and supporting the eventual presidential nominee.

Steyer declined to answer whether voters should take him seriously when he speculates about a future run, given his history.

But he did tell reporters that he sees trying to impeach the President as equally difficult as running for president.

"There is no way to say that trying to move the American people to impeach and remove a president is a step down in difficultly," he said, joking that pushing impeachment is no "layup."

Steyer, according to people close to the billionaire, including his spokeswoman Aleigha Cavalier, had seriously considered running for president, including by courting possible staffers in key states and homing in on a campaign manager for a potential bid.

Steyer told CNN last week that he would run only if he believed he offered something new to the field of candidates.

"I'm thinking about it in terms of what I can bring that isn't already available," he said. "Unless I believe that my background and my beliefs and my priorities are different from the other people who are running, there's really no point in being one of a very large group of contestants."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111322

Reported Deaths: 3202
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7796173
DeSoto670178
Harrison484483
Jackson435081
Rankin383786
Madison373993
Lee344979
Forrest296377
Jones283782
Washington252197
Lafayette242642
Lauderdale2376131
Lamar217138
Bolivar198377
Oktibbeha195854
Neshoba1814111
Lowndes174962
Panola166337
Leflore160787
Sunflower157649
Warren152755
Monroe145972
Pontotoc143819
Pike137256
Lincoln135555
Copiah135036
Marshall134826
Scott123829
Coahoma123436
Grenada120038
Yazoo119333
Simpson118649
Union115225
Holmes113560
Leake113340
Tate113239
Itawamba110424
Pearl River108958
Adams104343
Prentiss102619
Wayne98721
Alcorn96012
George93917
Marion92942
Covington92525
Tippah85921
Newton84427
Chickasaw82625
Winston82221
Tallahatchie81825
Tishomingo79341
Hancock78127
Attala77626
Clarke72349
Clay67621
Jasper67417
Walthall63327
Calhoun61412
Noxubee59617
Smith58316
Claiborne53216
Montgomery52923
Tunica52217
Lawrence49914
Yalobusha49314
Perry48122
Carroll46312
Greene45518
Stone45014
Amite41713
Quitman4146
Humphreys41216
Jefferson Davis39811
Webster36613
Wilkinson33020
Kemper32015
Benton3154
Sharkey27814
Jefferson27010
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22563372
Mobile14335314
Tuscaloosa10023133
Montgomery9759196
Madison904893
Shelby709960
Lee644966
Baldwin640569
Marshall428248
Calhoun412759
Etowah405749
Morgan396833
Houston364632
DeKalb319628
Elmore310752
St. Clair282142
Limestone270828
Walker268892
Talladega258435
Cullman227623
Lauderdale208740
Autauga201029
Jackson200915
Franklin199731
Colbert192228
Russell19053
Dallas185627
Blount184824
Chilton181731
Escambia171328
Coffee16669
Covington166029
Dale163451
Pike130512
Chambers130143
Tallapoosa128686
Clarke127117
Marion104729
Butler99840
Barbour9889
Marengo97221
Winston90413
Geneva8417
Pickens80517
Lawrence80031
Randolph79814
Bibb79114
Hale74529
Cherokee72214
Clay71912
Lowndes70127
Henry6376
Bullock63517
Monroe6319
Washington62212
Crenshaw59330
Perry5806
Wilcox55912
Conecuh55713
Fayette55312
Cleburne5287
Macon52820
Sumter46721
Lamar4565
Choctaw38712
Greene33916
Coosa1973
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