© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, FILETom Steyer speaks during the California Democrats 2019 State Convention at the Moscone Center on June 01, 2019, in San Francisco.
Billionaire liberal activist Tom Steyer, who announced earlier this week that he is joining the more than 20 Democratic candidates running for president, joined ABC's "This Week" to discuss the early stages of a campaign that he has pledged to spend over $100 million of his own money on to capture his party's nomination.
Steyer defended his recent push for impeachment of President Donald Trump, telling ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl that "actual democracy," and more public visibility will boost support for Trump's removal.
"Let the American people see the facts and let them judge. That hasn't happened. It is a failure of government," Steyer said.
Steyer, who has spent years pouring millions of dollars into causes like combatting climate change through outside groups, such as NextGen America, entered the race months after it appeared he was forgoing a presidential bid, having said at a January press conference that he would not run "at this time." © Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILETom Steyer, co-founder of NextGen Climate Action Committee, speaks during a town hall event in Ankeny, Iowa, Jan. 9, 2019.
The Californian and former hedge fund manager has more recently made his main mission to gin up support for the impeachment of Trump, spending millions on a national ad campaign through the group NeedtoImpeach, which he founded and funds.
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While Steyer said that he will still spend upwards of $50 million through his outside groups, it appears for now he is fully focused on the arduous task of rising through a pack of two dozen Democrats to capture the party's nomination and then achieve his task of removing Trump from office in November 2020.
In his announcement video released earlier this week Steyer focused heavily on what he describes as the corrosive effect money and corporations have had on American politics.
"I think people believe corporations have bought the democracy, that politicians don't care about or respect them ... but are actually working for the people that rigged the system. Really what we're trying to do is make democracy work by pushing power down to the people," Steyer said in a video which features an array of the faces of modern American corporate excess.
For his first stop on the campaign trail, Steyer visited the critical early primary state of South Carolina, where he will have to make quick inroads with the African-American community if he wants to compete with the likes of former Vice President Joe Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who have all made early investments in the state and have visited multiple times.
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"In South Carolina they cut the taxes for big corporations," Steyer said during a campaign stop Friday in Charleston. "And that means they have to cut school bills, they have to cut education itself. They can't afford health care for everybody in the state of South Carolina. That's not because we don't have enough money. That's because corporations and the people who run and own them control our government, and want all the money, and the resources are not spread around the community."
ABC News' Briana Stewart contributed to this report.