Billionaire businessman and Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer suggested on Monday that while he does not want to be president of the United States, the office of the presidency would afford him the opportunity to get things done that he might otherwise could not.
“I know this is going to sound a little strange, kind of — I don’t want to be president, but I do want to do things as president,” Steyer told a crowd while at a campaign stop in Northwood, Iowa. “You know, I am running because I thought — until this week I was the last person to get in, and I got in because I thought, ‘My God, no one is going to tell the truth to the American people’ and we’re not going to actually deal with the critical issues in front of us and we have to.”
Steyer announced in July 2019 that he would officially be seeking the Democratic nomination to the presidency after initially declaring earlier in the year that he would not be running for president. Prior to his entry into the race, he was most well-known for his multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at impeaching President Donald Trump. Accordingly, Steyer launched his campaign focusing on two primary issues, defeating Trump and climate change.
A woman in Northwood told @TomSteyer his odds of being the nominee are very low. What will he do instead?
Steyer: "This is gonna sound a little strange – but I don't want to be President."
He wants to "do things" as President – highlighting his work on the climate crisis. pic.twitter.com/UZ0easFOg5
— Maura Barrett (@MauraBarrettNBC) November 25, 2019
“So, the two things I can tell you for sure, one is that if I am not the Democratic candidate, I will be supporting the Democratic candidate full bore,” Steyer said. “Anyone of those people on that stage is a thousand times better than Mr. Trump or any of the Republicans. Really. I believe that, and I will, there is 100% probability that I will be supporting that person as hard as I can.”
“The second thing I’d say is this: if I’m not the Democratic candidate, that doesn’t mean we aren’t in a climate crisis. We are,” he continued. “I’ve been fighting it for a decade and more.”
Steyer, who has an estimated net worth of nearly $2 billion, has been accused of trying to buy the presidency by both Democrats and Republicans alike. In November, one of his campaign aides was even caught offering money in exchange for political endorsements.
“Look, if you had told me, when I was a kid, that I thought that American democracy was at risk, and it wasn’t the scariest thing ever, I would have said, ‘You’re crazy! That’s the worst thing I can imagine happening. I can’t imagine anything worse than that.'” Steyer said. “That’s because I couldn’t imagine the climate crisis.”
“But there is no way, having seen what I’ve seen, and talked to the people that I’ve talked to, and seen the cruelty exhibited towards the American people, that I’m going to stop fighting these people. No way,” he continued. “I don’t think of myself as a tough person, but I can tell you, I don’t like mean people. They don’t scare me and I’m very angry about it.”
“There is a playbook here that is cruel to Americans,” Steyer added. “Intentionally so.”