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.

Cases: 259117

Reported Deaths: 5668
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17436187
Hinds16524328
Harrison13876199
Rankin11000217
Jackson10652187
Lee8981141
Madison8413168
Jones6552112
Forrest6101121
Lauderdale6034189
Lowndes5463119
Lafayette507393
Lamar496465
Washington4877124
Bolivar4068109
Oktibbeha401681
Panola378380
Pontotoc372155
Monroe3628105
Warren3619101
Union350563
Marshall349569
Neshoba3433152
Pearl River3380104
Leflore3079108
Lincoln300687
Sunflower289272
Hancock285360
Tate276762
Alcorn268854
Pike266580
Itawamba266261
Scott253448
Yazoo250156
Prentiss249552
Tippah245850
Copiah244549
Coahoma243654
Simpson240069
Leake234367
Grenada221171
Marion218473
Covington216972
Adams210170
Wayne206432
Winston205267
George202739
Attala195761
Newton195745
Tishomingo192461
Chickasaw186144
Jasper176038
Holmes169868
Clay162735
Tallahatchie154935
Stone148424
Clarke143562
Calhoun138021
Smith125825
Yalobusha120234
Walthall113437
Greene112129
Noxubee111425
Montgomery110936
Carroll105922
Lawrence104317
Perry103231
Amite99926
Webster94324
Tunica87621
Jefferson Davis87327
Claiborne86825
Benton84023
Humphreys83624
Kemper79120
Quitman7029
Franklin68716
Choctaw62313
Wilkinson58825
Jefferson55920
Sharkey44217
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 432536

Reported Deaths: 6379
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63523957
Mobile30967562
Madison27627201
Tuscaloosa21122268
Montgomery19495326
Shelby18941126
Baldwin16798188
Lee12901102
Morgan12447129
Etowah11911178
Calhoun11365205
Marshall10322119
Houston8813156
Limestone823176
Cullman8159106
Elmore8056104
DeKalb7796102
Lauderdale773399
St. Clair7705122
Talladega6347109
Walker5993174
Jackson590341
Colbert543274
Blount541186
Autauga527061
Coffee454160
Dale405482
Franklin371948
Russell345712
Chilton340972
Covington334168
Escambia328344
Dallas310196
Chambers297370
Clarke290536
Tallapoosa2665107
Pike258830
Marion250155
Lawrence249150
Winston231442
Bibb219848
Geneva206946
Marengo205229
Pickens198631
Hale180842
Barbour177836
Fayette174528
Butler171358
Cherokee162530
Henry157523
Monroe150718
Randolph143236
Washington139527
Clay128546
Crenshaw121644
Cleburne119724
Lamar119621
Macon119637
Lowndes112536
Wilcox105822
Bullock101428
Perry99118
Conecuh96320
Sumter89726
Greene76723
Coosa62215
Choctaw51624
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