Exclusive: Billionaire Green Activist Steyer Says Not Yet Ready To Back Clinton, Open To Sanders
The following is an excerpt from RICHARD VALDMANIS | January 20, 2016 | reuters.com |
Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer said he is not yet prepared to back Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president and he would not rule out supporting her main rival, Bernie Sanders, if he beats her in the primaries.
One of the biggest Democratic donors, Steyer could help Clinton boost her standing among environmentalist activists who are a key constituency within the Democratic party. Clinton is locked in tight races with Sanders in Iowa and New Hampshire, which both have early nominating contests.
"Our real goal has been not to support any one candidate, but to emphasize and highlight the issue (of climate change) so that the candidates can lay out their solutions and so the American people can have a chance to make a decision," Steyer said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
After the Democratic party picks its presidential nominee, that will change.
"We have always come out and supported the climate champion," Steyer said. "The idea that for some reason we wouldn’t do that, I’d have to understand why in hell we didn’t. Because that has been our practice always."
Steyer, 58, made his fortune through investments, some in fossil fuel energy, at Farallon Capital Management, the San Francisco-based hedge fund he founded in 1986.
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