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."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 593622

Reported Deaths: 7379
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1228171731
Ramsey51446875
Dakota45976452
Anoka41782439
Washington26948283
Stearns22266222
St. Louis17787304
Scott17296124
Wright16082140
Olmsted1325598
Sherburne1173087
Carver1050745
Clay816392
Rice8063107
Blue Earth751541
Crow Wing666290
Kandiyohi656283
Chisago601351
Otter Tail575478
Benton571697
Goodhue478572
Douglas468575
Mower466232
Winona455050
Itasca439156
McLeod424559
Isanti422464
Morrison419660
Nobles408048
Beltrami397059
Steele388715
Polk384868
Becker380953
Lyon361051
Carlton345654
Freeborn342029
Pine329022
Nicollet326243
Brown305440
Mille Lacs305053
Le Sueur292423
Todd282432
Cass273428
Meeker256640
Waseca236322
Martin230732
Roseau209419
Wabasha20613
Hubbard190041
Dodge18513
Renville180343
Redwood174337
Houston171916
Cottonwood165823
Fillmore156510
Wadena155922
Pennington153719
Faribault152419
Chippewa152338
Kanabec144726
Sibley143810
Aitkin135036
Watonwan13289
Rock128319
Jackson121812
Pipestone115926
Yellow Medicine114120
Pope11056
Murray10639
Swift105618
Stevens91411
Marshall88117
Clearwater86916
Koochiching83615
Wilkin81612
Lake81120
Lac qui Parle75322
Big Stone6004
Lincoln5813
Grant5788
Mahnomen5539
Norman5399
Unassigned49293
Kittson48622
Red Lake3977
Traverse3705
Lake of the Woods3253
Cook1640

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 367236

Reported Deaths: 5940
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57666626
Linn20892335
Scott20060241
Black Hawk15824308
Woodbury15138228
Johnson1449183
Dubuque13380208
Dallas1118398
Pottawattamie11132168
Story1062348
Warren577988
Clinton555893
Cerro Gordo540689
Sioux514474
Webster512293
Marshall483075
Muscatine481399
Des Moines458066
Wapello4303122
Buena Vista424840
Jasper419372
Plymouth401280
Lee376055
Marion362875
Jones299057
Henry291937
Carroll285752
Bremer284860
Crawford266240
Boone265034
Benton256655
Washington254050
Dickinson248543
Mahaska230451
Jackson222142
Clay215725
Kossuth215564
Tama209871
Delaware209741
Winneshiek196835
Page192722
Buchanan191432
Cedar190023
Hardin185643
Fayette185141
Wright184737
Hamilton180049
Harrison179673
Clayton169556
Butler165034
Madison162519
Mills162422
Floyd161142
Cherokee158938
Lyon158241
Poweshiek154934
Allamakee151451
Iowa148824
Hancock148434
Winnebago142531
Cass138654
Calhoun138513
Grundy136333
Emmet134240
Jefferson132435
Shelby131137
Sac130419
Union128333
Louisa128149
Appanoose128049
Mitchell126442
Chickasaw124116
Guthrie121530
Franklin120721
Humboldt119126
Palo Alto112823
Howard104622
Montgomery103338
Clarke100224
Unassigned9710
Keokuk96031
Monroe95329
Ida90435
Adair86532
Pocahontas85522
Davis83024
Monona82730
Osceola78716
Greene77710
Lucas77223
Worth7478
Taylor66012
Fremont6229
Decatur6089
Ringgold55824
Van Buren55818
Wayne53923
Audubon51010
Adams3384
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