Steyer spokesperson: 'I don't think necessarily that Tom has bought anything'

A spokesperson for Tom SteyerTom SteyerYouth voting organization launches M registration effort in key battlegrounds Overnight Energy: 'Eye of fire,' Exxon lobbyist's comments fuel renewed attacks on oil industry | Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline | More than 75 companies ask Congress to pass clean electricity standard Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline MORE’s 2020 campaign pushed back on Wednesday against the notion that the billionaire is trying to buy his way into the White House.

Following Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season CIA director says there will be consequences if Russia is behind 'Havana Syndrome' attacks Biden, Harris volunteer at DC nonprofit before Thanksgiving MORE’s (D-Calif.) decision to end her White House bid in December, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden eyes new path for Fed despite Powell pick Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Storms a growing danger for East Coast Senate Democrats call on Biden to push for COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers at WTO MORE (D-Mass.) asserted that wealthier candidates like Steyer and former New York City Mayor and billionaire Michael BloombergMichael BloombergDemocrats are sleepwalking towards electoral disaster in 2022 Budowsky: 10 million should march on DC, for earth and democracy Bloomberg vows to spend 0M to fight fatal drug overdoses MORE were able to “buy their way” into the race.  

But Patrice Snow argued the notion that Steyer is trying to buy the election is just a narrative that is being pushed by his rivals in Washington, and that the billionaire philanthropist really believes that his message will resonate with voters.

“I don’t think necessarily that Tom has bought anything,” Snow told Hill.TV.

“He’s just not going to take his money and put a match to it,” she added later. “If he didn’t believe he had a message and he could fundamentally change the way Washington works, he wouldn’t be running.”

Snow emphasized that the reason why Steyer jumped into the race later than some of the current frontrunners was because they weren't addressing some of the things that he thought should be be top-of-mind, such as climate change. 

Steyer, a longtime supporter for environmental causes, has made climate change the centerpiece of his campaign, calling it his “number one priority.” Along with Bloomberg, the former hedge fund manager has unveiled a series of climate-related proposals, including a plan to make refugees escaping the climate crisis eligible for legal entry into the United States. 

He has also poured a considerable amount of his personal wealth into his presidential bid, spending at least $67 million on the airwaves so far.

It remains to be seen how his personal investment will ultimately translate in the polls.

According to RealClearPolitics average of national polls, Steyer currently has 2 percent support, but he has seen a surge in some early voting states.

A Morning Consult poll released last Tuesday showed the businessman surging to third place with 15 percent support in an average of survey respondents from Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

—Tess Bonn