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 SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerKrystal Ball: Influx of billionaire cash in 2020 contest is 'deeply corrosive' to 'civil society' Booker says he will not make December debate stage Democrats set early state primary debates for 2020 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 TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day 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.