Published: Wed, July 10, 2019

Inslee mum as billionaire Tom Steyer, a former ally, enters presidential race

Inslee mum as billionaire Tom Steyer, a former ally, enters presidential race

In January, the 62-year-old businessman and philanthropist ended speculation of a possible run for president announcing that he would instead focus his efforts on applying pressure to Congress to impeach Trump.

U.S. media have described Mr Steyer's campaign as the Democratic version of Mr Trump's; both men are political outsiders with vast personal wealth, running on the premise of changing the existing system.

In a video released Tuesday morning, Steyer said, "if you think that there's something absolutely critical, try as hard as you can and let the chips fall where they may". The Californian has been a major Democratic donor in recent years and has been one of the leading voices calling for President Donald Trump's impeachment, though his announcement video barely mentioned Trump. "He's brought us to the brink of nuclear war, obstructed justice at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution, he's taken money from foreign governments, and threatened to shut down news organizations that report the truth", Steyer says in the ad. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said in an interview on MSNBC. And Steyer campaign spokesman Alberto Lammers confirmed to Fox News that Steyer would spend at least $100 million to finance his White House run.

"The Democratic primary should not be decided by billionaires, whether they're funding Super PACs or funding themselves", the two-term Democratic senator from MA tweeted.

The self-described democratic socialist senator continued, "billionaires should not be able to spend unlimited sums of money trying to buy elections".


Asked about Warren's and Sanders' criticism of his plan to invest so heavily in his own campaign, Steyer said the common goal among all candidates is to present a vision that connects with voters. "I'm running for president". He says he has committed more than $50 million through 2020 to the two organizations.

Steyer, who joins the race three weeks before the next presidential debates, could struggle to get a spot on the stage.

In order to qualify for the next Democratic debate, scheduled for the end of July, Steyer's latecomer campaign will have to assemble 65,000 unique donors.

But the pool remains crowded, with two dozen candidates.

"The Democratic primary should not be decided by billionaires, whether they're funding Super PACs or funding themselves", Warren said. A former Steyer spokeswoman, Aleigha Cavalier, recently joined Beto O'Rourke's 2020 campaign.

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