Tom Steyer dropped out of the presidential race on February 29, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Steyer has been a funding force in Democratic politics in recent years, bankrolling candidates and organizations that promote a liberal agenda. He jumped into the race in July after funding an effort to pressure Congress into impeaching Trump.
Yale University, B.A., 1979; Stanford Business School, MBA, 1983
June 27, 1957
Samuel, Charles, Evelyn and Henry
Founder, Farallon Capital Management, 1986-2012; Partner, Hellman and Friedman, 1985-1986; Associate, Goldman Sachs, 1983-1985; Financial analyst, Morgan Stanley, 1979-1981
STEYER IN THE NEWS
Tom Steyer ends 2020 presidential campaign
Updated 10:17 PM ET, Sat Feb 29, 2020
Tom Steyer ended his presidential campaign on Saturday night after the billionaire businessman failed to gain traction in a large field of Democratic candidates. Steyer exited the race after he failed to claim victory in South Carolina, a state he invested heavily in, hoping it would turn around his sputtering run. "I said if I didn't see a path to winning that I'd suspend my campaign," he said. "And honestly, I can't see a path where I can win the presidency." The businessman's decision comes after disappointing showings in the race's first three contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. In Nevada, Steyer outspent the rest of the Democratic field on advertisements by more than $13 million. Visit CNN's Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 race Steyer spent more than $200 million on advertising for his presidential campaign, and contributed about $155 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. But the power of Steyer's money was partially blunted late in his campaign by the entrance of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has spent more than $500 million on ads in a few short months, effectively watering down Steyer's omnipresence. Steyer spent considerable time and money in South Carolina, and there were signs his investment was paying off. The billionaire businessman spent more than $22 million on television and radio ads in the state, hoping that direct and persistent outreach to black voters could cut into former Vice President Joe Biden's strength with the powerful voting bloc. A recent Monmouth University poll found Steyer at 15% in the state, neck-and-neck with the race's front-runner Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and behind Biden. Steyer said he supports reparations for African Americans, and pledged he would, if elected, establish a commission on race led by African Americans aimed at coming up with solutions. Before officially launching his campaign in July, Steyer operated as a funding force in Democratic politics. He spent millions bankrolling candidates and organizations that promoted liberal causes and the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Steyer starred in self-funded television commercials calling for Congress to remove Trump from office. Those ads were powerful in the early states, where voters who backed Steyer said they liked the fact that he spearheaded the impeachment effort. The longtime Democratic donor, whose net worth reached $1.6 billion this year according to Forbes, said he would make tackling the global climate crisis a top priority of his administration and vowed to combat what he called the "undue influence" of corporate power on the US economy. He called for a $15 minimum wage, congressional term limits and the repeal of Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that eased restrictions on corporate campaign spending. Steyer said he would repeal the Trump tax cuts and install a 1% wealth tax on those whose net worth is above $32 million. Steyer broke with progressive leaders on "Medicare for All," and said he would prefer to build on the current system, as it exists under the Affordable Care Act, and push for a public option, or a government-backed insurance plan. In the end, though, Steyer's campaign became a case study of how even hundreds of millions in personal spending cannot directly lead to success in a presidential election. Steyer did get a burst of attention in the final days of his campaign, turning in his most aggressive debate performance on Tuesday. And on the eve of the South Carolina primary, a video of Steyer dancing onstage with rapper Juvenile at an event in South Carolina went viral.
Steyer, a longtime Democratic donor, established himself as a leading force on climate change with a $100 million campaign in the 2014 midterm elections through the advocacy group NextGen Climate, which was positioned as a foil to the oil and gas industry – specifically to the donor network established by billionaire conservative brothers Charles and David Koch. As a presidential candidate, Steyer says he would declare a national emergency on his first day in office over the climate crisis and use executive action to achieve his goals, including a clean-energy system with net-zero “global warming pollution” by 2045. Steyer would also stop the issuance of new leases for mining and drilling and would wind down existing production on federal land and offshore. Like other candidates, Steyer ties his climate plans to job creation, promising 1 million jobs. He calls for $2 trillion in federal funding over 10 years for infrastructure, which includes transportation as well as “water, operational systems, the energy grid, farms and rural development, building retrofits, maintenance, affordable housing, universal broadband, and more.” He also calls for issuing $250 billion in “climate bonds” over 10 years and investing $50 billion in programs to support miners and other “fossil fuel workers.” Steyer says he would keep the US in the Paris climate agreement, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon, as well as other international alliances and United Nations agreements aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change. More on Steyer’s climate crisis policy
Steyer’s initial focus was his $2 trillion energy infrastructure investment plan, which he says would in turn unleash “trillions” more in private capital investment. He would also create what he calls “Green New Deal investment zones.” In October 2019, he released a new economic agenda aimed at “ensuring that economic power rests with the American people, not big corporations.” To address what Steyer calls the “undue influence” of corporate power on the US economy, his plan calls for a $15 minimum wage, along with congressional term limits and the overturning of Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that eased restrictions on corporate campaign spending. Steyer says he would repeal the Trump tax cuts and install a 1% wealth tax on those whose net worth is above $32 million. But he said he favors regulation over moving to greater government control over parts of the economy. “I’m a progressive and a capitalist, but unchecked capitalism produces market failures and economic inequities,” Steyer said in a news release outlining the plan. “The people must be in charge of our economy — but socialism isn’t the answer.” Steyer has declared a right to a living wage as part of his “5 Rights” platform. He pledges in his climate plan to reward companies that follow fair labor practices and hire union workers. More on Steyer’s economic policy
Steyer calls on his website for providing “free, quality, public education” from preschool through college “and on to skills training.” More on Steyer’s education policy
After the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting, Steyer pledged $1 million for a voter registration drive in cooperation with two gun-control advocacy groups – Everytown for Gun Safety and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ organization. At the time, Steyer accused the Republican Party and Trump of “putting NRA money ahead of the lives of Americans.” In August 2019, after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Steyer again expressed opposition to the National Rifle Association and called for “mandatory background checks” in an interview with PBS.
Steyer supports universal health care, including it as one of his “5 Rights.” That includes coverage for undocumented immigrants, he said in an interview with CBS in July 2019. He tweeted in late July 2019 that “universal health care must be a right—not a privilege—so everyone has the chance to live a healthy life, and our government needs to act to protect the foundations of our health.” More on Steyer’s health care policy
Republican congressman calls out 'bogus' claims by GOP colleagues downplaying Capitol riot
Updated 5:58 PM ET, Sun May 16, 2021
Republican Rep. Fred Upton on Sunday called out an effort by some of his GOP colleagues to downplay the Capitol insurrection, saying their "bogus" claims about the deadly attack are evidence of a need to establish a bipartisan commission to investigate the incident. "It's absolutely bogus. You know, I was there. I watched a number of the folks walk down to the White House and then back. I have a balcony on my office. So I saw them go down. I heard the noise -- the flash bangs, I smelled some of the gas as it moved my way," the Michigan congressman told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" when asked about comments made by several congressional Republicans last week who attempted to re-write what happened on January 6. The comments from the longtime congressman come as a rift in his party grows between members who are offering an inaccurate account of the insurrection and those who have consistently condemned the violence on January 6 while also casting blame on former President Donald Trump and his 2020 election lies for the attack. Upton was among the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in inciting the riot. Among the claims made last week was one by Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Republican from Georgia, who falsely compared the riot to a tourist visit, saying during a hearing on the attack that "there was no insurrection and to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bold baseline." Upton told Bash he wasn't sure what was motivating his colleagues to make such claims, but that those statements stand as a reason why he supports a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack. Lawmakers on Friday cleared a hurdle on Friday in creating a bipartisan commission after the top Democrat and Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee struck a deal on how to structure the independent panel. "Get the facts out, try to assure the American public this is what happened, and let the facts lead us to the conclusion," Upton said. After the agreement was announced Friday, it was not clear whether House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy -- who has been fighting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the commission proposal -- would sign off on the deal, as he said he was still reviewing it. Upton said in his interview that he hopes the California Republican will support the proposal. Going a step further on Sunday, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who was ousted from her post in GOP leadership last week for challenging Trump's election lies, told ABC News that McCarthy should "absolutely" testify before the commission should lawmakers establish the investigatory body. "I would anticipate that -- I would hope he doesn't require a subpoena, but I wouldn't be surprised if he were subpoenaed," Cheney said of McCarthy, adding later that the attempts by some of her colleagues to downplay the insurrection are "disgraceful and despicable." House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, who helped lead negotiations to reach a deal on the bipartisan commission, told CNN's Jim Acosta on Sunday it's important to find out what McCarthy knows about Trump's actions on January 6. "We have to get all of the facts. I hope we should not have to end up subpoenaing individuals to come. We want to get the House Administration documents. We want to get the Government Reform and Oversight Committee's documents, the Department of Defense documents and any witness who had anything in terms of knowledge of what happened on January 6. The commission needs to hear from them," the Mississippi Democrat said. Asked if that includes Trump, Thompson said the commission would also "need to get" information from the former President himself. "He invited many of the people who broke into the Capitol to Washington on that day. He said, 'Come to Washington. It's going to be wild.' So we need to get from him what 'coming to Washington, being wild' was all about." The proposed commission would include a 10-member panel, with half appointed by Democratic congressional leaders, including the chair, and half by Republicans, including the vice chair. The panel will have the power to issue subpoenas if they are signed off by both the chair and vice chair, according to a summary released by the committee. The commission would be tasked with issuing a final report by the end of this year, making it a quick timeline for the panel to put out a final product. This story has been updated with additional information Sunday.