MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer spoke one-on-one with News 2’s Brad Franko to discuss his campaign and performance in the Palmetto State.
Recent polls from Real Clear Politics shows Steyer is now among the top three democratic candidates for president in South Carolina.
But is South Carolina the end-all-be-all for his campaign? Steyer says diversity is key and feels his campaign is appealing to everybody across the spectrum.
“Nevada and South Carolina are the first two states that are diverse,” he said. “There are a lot of black people and there are a lot of Latinos, a lot of Asian Americans, Native Americans as well as white people. I know that anybody, who wants to put together a coalition of democrats needs to appeal to everybody across the spectrum and if anybody wants to beat Donald Trump in November of 2020, then they have got to be able to relate to those people and have everyone show up to the polls in November.”
Steyer admitted that South Carolina has special importance. “It absolutely does, and I’ve said that for a long time.”
Running for president is a cutthroat process. Recently in South Carolina, a newspaper talked about Steyer’s financial investment in the state and a former party chairman said what he is doing isn’t investing but paying people off.
“What we’re doing in South Carolina, we have the most people on the ground of anybody in South Carolina. If you call hiring people and paying them for doing work, paying people off – I think that’s what they call the American way – in fact, we have a diverse group of people, take a look whose working for us, who is endorsing me, if you’re asking people to do work for you, to do community organizing – I’m a community organizer, I know the best way to do community organizing – the only really effective way – is have people go into those communities that they are a part of and that they know. So, the idea of paying people off; people are doing work and so they get paid. That’s entirely appropriate and that’s the way community organizing works.”
He went on to say, “My wife moved to South Carolina for goodness sakes. My being on the ground more than any other candidate, our having a bigger group of people working on the ground than anyone else, the fact that I’m the only candidate that will say he or she is for reparations for slavery, the fact that I’m talking honestly about race, willing to take on Mr. Trump on the economy, saying I think his economic policies stink for working people and I can show it. I’m talking about a completely different kind of economy with a much higher minimum wage; a tax cut of 10% for everybody who makes less than $250K and the creation of over four and a half million good-paying union jobs across the county to rebuild it in a climate-smart way… I think what I’m doing in South Carolina is resonating because in fact people can get a chance to see me, see who I am, see who my family is, they can listen to me and know that what I am talking about is a real-world and it’s much better than this kind of Mar-a-Lago economy that Mr. Trump has been promoting.
The South Carolina Democratic Primary will be held on Saturday, February 29th.