LOS ANGELES - From the moment he made a splash on the 2020 Democratic ticket, Tom Steyer has made it his mission to scrub the federal government of its overriding influence from corporate America. Toppling over the Trump White House might just be secondary.
“There’s a good chance [Trump] won’t even be on the ballot” come November, Steyer confidently predicts.
In a one-on-one exclusive on FOX11’s “The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson,” the mega-donor explained his rationale for jumping into a race mostly filled with battle-tested politicians.
“The conversations were about very important policies…but nobody was telling the truth, which is none of those policies can happen until we break the corporate takeover of our government.”
Steyer said he’s in an optimal position to defeat President Trump because he, too, is an outsider of the legislative shuffle.
Ten years ago, Steyer sold his business for billions of dollars and has been spending money on political causes ever since.
Steyer founded the anti-Trump group “Need to Impeach” along with “NextGen America,” a nonprofit fighting climate change and pushing for social justice.
“If you look over the last ten years, I started building coalitions of ordinary American citizens to take on that unchecked, corporate power, and we’ve been winning.”
This is the first campaign where Steyer himself is on the ballot. He's asking voters to ponder the following questions.
“Who is going to reform the government? Is it someone from the outside who’s been doing it successfully for 10 years, or is it going to be a Washington insider who’s been doing it for a long time?”
Through his leadership of ‘Need to Impeach,’ he snagged over 8 million petition signatures over 2 years to oust the president from the oval office.
Now, Democrats in Congress are pursuing an Impeachment Inquiry. There are technically enough Democrats in the House to Impeach the President without any Republican support. But to actually remove the President from office, at least 20 Republican senators would need to join the Democrats, as 67 Senators are needed.
Currently, no Republican Senators are supporting that effort. But Steyer is confident the politics of Impeachment could soon change.
“They are not going to make that decision based on objective fact. We all know he’s a crook. They know he’s a crook… I think if their constituents say to them, ‘Get rid of him or we’ll get rid of you,’ then they’re going to be very quick to get rid of Mr. Trump.”
The White House contends that former Vice President Joe Biden’s son ought to be the *real* target of the “Ukraine” scandal, since he profited off his position at a Ukrainian gas company. Steyer thinks this to be irrelevant, saying Trump is the real culprit.
“I know that the Trump administration, and Rudy Giuliani, specifically, are desperate to make it about the Bidens. But the real question here is…did the president of the United States use his office for his own personal gain. And, the answer is yes.”
Michaelson pressed Steyer on whether he'd allow his own children or his potential Vice President's children to enter into a similar deal? He chose not to answer.
Steyer is currently trailing a majority of the 2020 contenders in most polls. He believes a big reason for that is that most voters haven't been exposed to him yet. He'll be in front of his biggest audience ever during the Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, which will be the first time he'll share a stage with his key rivals.
One topic that’s likely to be front-and-center at the debate is healthcare. The party's progressive wing, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) champion a Medicare-for-All option, under which the country would forgo private insurers and enact a government-run system.
Unlike them, Steyer envisions a mixed-market arrangement that would afford Americans the ability to buy into a version of Medicare, or opt to purchase their own insurance policy. In Steyer's view, a public healthcare option would gin up competition and lower the cost of private insurance.
“We can use the power of the government to drive down costs by negotiating and forcing the prices down across the board…But we don’t tell 160 million Americans who’ve negotiated and fought… through their work that…you’re going to do it our way or no other way. I just think that in the United States of America people are allowed to choose. There’s such a thing as freedom!”
Watch “The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson” Fridays at 10:30p on FOX11 News, Sundays at 5:30a on KTVU2 in Bay Area, and on KCOP My13 Sundays at 12:30p.