Steyer: I don't think it's possible to buy the presidency

Steyer: I don't think it's possible to buy the presidency
© Greg Nash

Billionaire Democratic White House hopeful Tom SteyerTom SteyerTV ads favored Biden 2-1 in past month Inslee calls Biden climate plan 'perfect for the moment' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration finalizes plan to open up Alaska wildlife refuge to drilling | California finalizes fuel efficiency deal with five automakers, undercutting Trump | Democrats use vulnerable GOP senators to get rare win on environment MORE said in a new interview that he doesn’t think it’s possible to buy the presidency. 

Steyer during the discussion with The Associated Press dismissed critics who say he’s trying to buy the nation’s highest office. 

“I don’t think that’s possible,” he told the AP. 

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“I’m never going to apologize for succeeding in business. That’s America, right?” he added. 

Steyer also told the AP he is prepared to spend more than the $100 million he initially pledged toward his 2020 bid. And he told the news service that he’s committed to giving at least an additional $50 million this election cycle to outside groups he helped create, including one that is devoted to impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE

Steyer has already spent $4 million more on internet ads than any other Democrat in the field, the AP noted. 

Although he entered the race in July, months after a crowded field had already formed, Steyer has a paid staff presence in states across the country that exceeds most of his primary opponents, according to the news service. 

He has 29 paid staff in Iowa, 14 in New Hampshire, 28 in Nevada and 46 in South Carolina, a spokesperson told the AP. 

Campaign manager Heather Hargreaves told the AP the Steyer campaign is also hiring staff in the Super Tuesday states including California, Tennessee, Alabama, Colorado and North Carolina. 

Steyer, who has an estimated $1.6 billion net worth, has also joined some of his primary opponents in calling for a wealth tax. His proposal calls for a “1 percent annual tax on the top .1 percent of American families,” which would impact families that have more than $32 million.