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Billionaire Tom Steyer Changes His Mind And Is Now Running For President

Billionaire activist Tom Steyer speaks to supporters in January in Des Moines, Iowa, where he announced he would not run for president. He's now reversed course.
Steve Pope
/
Getty Images
Billionaire activist Tom Steyer speaks to supporters in January in Des Moines, Iowa, where he announced he would not run for president. He's now reversed course.

Tom Steyer, a California billionaire hedge fund manager and environmental activist, is the latest to jump into the Democratic presidential race.

Steyer has gained national attention with his quest to impeach President Trump. Steyer had previously said in January that he would not be running for president and would instead run a $40 million ad campaign to push for President Trump's impeachment.

Notably, in his four-minute announcement video, he doesn't mention impeachment and instead focused on making a more equal society.

"Americans are deeply disappointed and hurt by the way they are treated by what they think is the power elite in Washington, D.C.," Steyer says in the video, "and that goes across party lines, and it goes across geography. We've got to take the corporate control out of politics."

Steyer noted that he has signed the billionaire "giving pledge" to give away half his wealth while he's alive to good causes.

"We have a society that's very unequal," Steyer says, "and it's really important for people to understand that this society is connected. If this is a banana republic with a few very, very rich people and everybody else living in misery, that's a failure."

Steyer's previous focus on impeachment could vault the issue into the presidential race. He did not say why he had the change of heart, but it comes months after the release of the Mueller report and an increasing number of congressional Democrats have called for the president's impeachment.

Steyer has previously said he disagreed tactically with Democratic leaders' approach to dealing with President Trump.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.