Billionaire Tom Steyer jumps into presidential race

Tom Steyer joins swarm of Democrats running for president

Tom Steyer joins swarm of Democrats running for president

Billionaire Tom Steyer, who has pushed Democrats to impeach President Donald Trump and previously flirted with running for the White House, said on Tuesday he will now seek the Democratic nomination.

The liberal mega donor has funneled millions of dollars to organizations pushing for the impeachment of President Trump since 2017.

In the video, Steyer addresses the need to weaken corporate interests and address the country's wealth inequality.

"The decision to get in this late means a candidate must look at the entire diverse field and think, 'I alone can win this.' It's an entirely different decision from announcing in January when nearly nobody was in the race", said Adam Green, the co-founder of Progressive Change Campaign Committee (which is backing Warren), in a statement to TIME.

He cited climate change as an example where companies are driven by profits rather than what's best for the planet. His super PAC, NextGen America, contributed some $96 million to Democrat causes in 2016, and $61 million during last year's midterms.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Mr Steyer and his wife, Kathryn, are the second biggest political donors in the U.S., just behind Republican donors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson.

"I think people believe that the corporations have bought the democracy, that the politicians don't care about or respect them, don't put them first, are not working for them but are actually working for the people who have rigged the system", Steyer says. Instead, he said his campaign will focus on reducing the influence of corporations in politics.

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Mr Trump has called Mr Steyer "wacky", "totally unhinged" and a "weirdo".

Sanders said in a statement that he liked Steyer personally, "but I do have to say as somebody who in this campaign has received received 2 million contributions, averaging $19 a person, I'm a bit exhausted of seeing billionaires trying to buy political power".

Steyer joins a crowded Democratic primary that has already participated in the first round of primary debates. In order to do so, he will need to poll at 1 percent or higher in three qualifying polls and receive at least 65,000 unique donations over the next week.

If he does not qualify by then, he will have to wait until the next round in September.

On Monday, Mr Swalwell said he had no regrets, but, "we have to be honest about our own candidacy and viability".

There are 20 spots at the debate for a field that includes two dozen candidates. He also plans to target climate change.

Steyer's video flashes images of Trump's son, Don Jr., billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who was indicted on sex trafficking charges this week, incarcerated businessman Martin Shkreli, incarcerated investment scammer Bernard Madoff, and Trump's incarcerated former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

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