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 7:20 AM
Updated: Jan 10, 2019 7:20 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.

2020 Presidential election

Business figures

Donald Trump

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Political candidates

Political Figures - US

Politics

Tom Steyer

US Federal elections

US Presidential elections

Impeachment

Political scandals

Primaries and caucuses

Scandals

"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."

Terre Haute
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 47°
Robinson
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 46°
Indianapolis
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 44°
Rockville
Overcast
42° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 42°
Casey
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 40°
Brazil
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 47°
Marshall
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 47°
Cloudy & Cold
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Off the Beaten Path: A silent hero

Image

Thursday Morning Forecast

Image

ISU Women Illinois

Image

WRV North Knox

Image

Sullivan South Knox

Image

Kevin's Winter Weather Forecast

Image

Local business makes $1,000 donation to Catholic Charities

Image

Here's how you can help the feline rescue

Image

Local catering company is getting folks ready for turkey day

Image

Isolation among the elderly during the holiday season may affect your loved one’s mental health

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 685467

Reported Deaths: 12439
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook2913126414
DuPage42881762
Will36762544
Lake35460619
Kane30350453
Winnebago18042253
Madison13560236
McHenry13529153
St. Clair12513255
Champaign1042954
Sangamon955493
Peoria8529129
Rock Island8278126
Kankakee8190103
McLean802052
Tazewell633595
Macon6191128
Kendall594742
LaSalle5808130
DeKalb476446
Adams457148
Boone372133
Vermilion364446
Whiteside3595104
Williamson340779
Coles320758
Clinton310959
Ogle269929
Knox264558
Grundy259718
Effingham259520
Jackson256436
Henry250213
Stephenson235034
Marion234946
Livingston213523
Randolph213125
Morgan209534
Macoupin205617
Bureau201440
Monroe195744
Franklin193622
Christian180740
Lee180126
Jefferson175459
Woodford163826
Iroquois156825
Logan154813
McDonough154140
Fayette152528
Fulton135610
Shelby130025
Douglas128916
Jersey118723
Union112826
Montgomery107919
Crawford107710
Saline106724
Jo Daviess103817
Warren102820
Perry101423
Carroll101324
Bond98010
Pike97225
Lawrence95710
Cass93021
Hancock92312
Moultrie86010
Wayne85333
Greene78727
Clay78519
Clark75819
Edgar75016
Piatt7455
Ford71921
Richland68619
Mercer68410
Johnson6825
Mason67218
Washington6332
Jasper61812
Cumberland59416
De Witt59216
White5758
Massac5283
Wabash5038
Menard4281
Unassigned3940
Pulaski3922
Marshall3755
Hamilton3723
Brown3033
Henderson2650
Schuyler2571
Alexander2482
Putnam2360
Stark2313
Calhoun2280
Scott2230
Edwards2193
Gallatin1813
Hardin1360
Pope891
Out of IL130

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 312521

Reported Deaths: 5498
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion42641849
Lake27152455
Allen18010298
Elkhart17177221
St. Joseph16799229
Hamilton13011167
Vanderburgh9751120
Tippecanoe858727
Porter827986
Johnson6389165
Hendricks6098157
Vigo608384
Monroe536750
Clark515077
Madison5060122
Delaware4905103
LaPorte465595
Kosciusko462339
Howard344277
Warrick325672
Bartholomew316863
Floyd316277
Wayne307770
Cass299931
Marshall299144
Grant272550
Noble255046
Hancock253852
Henry247537
Boone244554
Dubois237931
Dearborn219030
Jackson215534
Morgan210843
Knox187819
Gibson186925
Shelby182155
Clinton180321
DeKalb177831
Lawrence177648
Adams168222
Miami162614
Wabash162521
Daviess156443
Fayette149234
Steuben147113
Jasper144412
Harrison142924
LaGrange142630
Montgomery142127
Whitley137114
Ripley132115
Huntington127410
Decatur126143
Putnam124627
Randolph124519
Wells124429
White123222
Clay122523
Posey122116
Jefferson118816
Scott109020
Greene102653
Jay99013
Sullivan96416
Starke92021
Jennings85314
Fulton84518
Spencer8378
Perry82521
Fountain7798
Washington7527
Franklin69927
Carroll68613
Orange67328
Vermillion6243
Owen6087
Tipton57627
Parke5706
Newton56312
Rush5438
Blackford53412
Pike50919
Pulaski39515
Martin3585
Brown3424
Benton3402
Crawford2941
Union2702
Switzerland2575
Warren2382
Ohio2317
Unassigned0266