Promising to commit at least $100 million of his personal wealth to the campaign, hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer announced on Tuesday (9 July) that he is joining an already long list of aspirants battling out for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Steyer, whose net worth is estimated at $1.6 billion, is a trenchant critic of US President Donald Trump. Soon after Trump won the presidential race, Steyer described him “mentally unstable”.
Spending close to $40 million, Steyer launched an all-out offensive including a national ad campaign calling for Trump’s impeachment.
A big Democratic donor, Steyer has actively advocated and financed investment in renewable energy. He has called for reducing corporate influence in politics and will also aid in fighting the “devastating impacts of climate change.”
Steyer was a well-known supporter of Obama and delivered a 2012 Democratic National Convention supporting his re-election attempt. He spent close to $65 million to back Democratic candidates during the 2016 elections.
The hedge-fund manager announced his presidential run in a video message posted on Twitter.
“Almost every single major intractable problem, at the back of it you see a big-money interest for whom stopping progress, stopping justice is really important to their bottom line,” Steyer said, before promising to “take the corporate control out of our politics.”
“Corporations don’t have hearts, or souls, or futures. They don’t have children. They have a short time frames and they really care about just making money,” he continued.
“If this is a banana republic with a few very, very rich people and everybody else living in misery, that’s a failure”, Steyer added.