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

A spokesperson for Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerSurging Sanders looks for decisive win in Nevada Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter split on Bloomberg video | Sanders briefed on Russian efforts to help campaign | Barr to meet with Republicans ahead of surveillance fight The Hill's Campaign Report: What to watch for in Nevada 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 Devi HarrisHouse to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Overnight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge Democratic senators criticize plan that could expand Arctic oil and gas development MORE’s (D-Calif.) decision to end her White House bid in December, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen Surging Sanders looks for decisive win in Nevada Bloomberg to do interview with Al Sharpton MORE (D-Mass.) asserted that wealthier candidates like Steyer and former New York City Mayor and billionaire Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergThe Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen Fox's Ingraham mocks DNC over Nevada voting malfunctions: 'Are we a Third World country?' At Democratic debate, missed opportunities on immigration 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