POLITICS
01/09/2019 04:44 pm ET

Tom Steyer Says He Won't Run For President In 2020

The billionaire philanthropist will instead focus on his efforts to impeach Donald Trump.

Billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist Tom Steyer announced Wednesday that he will not enter the 2020 race for president, ending speculation that he would be one of many candidates to make a bid for the Oval Office in what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary.

That doesn’t mean Steyer isn’t trying to boot President Donald Trump from office. He will instead spend at least $40 million on impeachment efforts against Trump this year, he said in a statement.

“This is the biggest issue in American politics today,” Steyer said. “We have a lawless president in the White House who is eroding our democracy and it is only going to get worse. Donald Trump’s removal from power ultimately decides whether or not we can tackle every other challenge we face in America — and whether or not we continue to live in a democracy of, for, and by the people.”

Steyer has never held office but is one of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors and fundraisers. He gave heavily to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and contributed more than $87 million to Democratic candidates during that election cycle. He was also a major donor to both of former President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns and was reportedly floated for various roles in the administration. 

But I am proud to be here to announce that I will do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to remove a president.

Notably, he has called for candidates to be aggressive in advocating for clean energy and has put his money toward a number of causes to fight climate change.

Steyer has long positioned himself as a vocal adversary of Trump. He raised $10 million to run ads calling for Trump’s impeachment and has spent more money to display impeachment billboards in New York City’s Times Square.

Their beef isn’t one-sided. Trump tweeted in October that Steyer was a “crazed & stumbling lunatic” just days after Steyer and a number of other Trump enemies were targeted with mail bombs.

Steyer’s decision not to run in 2020 only slightly shrinks the pool of Democrats who are likely to attempt to unseat Trump. Elizabeth Warren has already declared her candidacy, while former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are all rumored to be announcing runs, too.

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