Billionaire activist Tom Steyer, who spent hundreds of millions into his Democratic presidential campaign announced that he is ending his campaign shortly after the South Carolina primary results showed a disappointing third place finish.
“We were disappointed with where we came out. I think we got one or two delegates from congressional districts, which I thank South Carolina for,” Steyer told supporters in South Carolina Saturday night. “But I said if I didn’t see a path to winning, that I’d suspend my campaign. And honestly, I can’t see a path where I can win the presidency.”
He added, “This has been a great experience. I have zero regrets. Meeting you and the rest of the American people was the highlight of my life.”
One of two billionaires in the Democratic primary race, Steyer spent more than $200 million of his own money on the race nationally on ads, according to Advertising Analytics. Steyer’s presidential campaign was heavily focused on South Carolina, where he spent majority of his time and resources sought to appeal to black voters. The billionaire businessman spent over $25 million in television and radio ads in the Palmetto State in efforts to cut into former Vice President Joe Biden’s support with black voters. However, Steyer finished third in the Palmetto State, winning less than 50,000 of the votes or about 12 percent, way under the 15 percent cutoff to earn any delegates.
Democratic front-runner, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) thanked Steyer for his contributions to the race in tweets late Saturday.
“Thank you Tom Steyer for running a campaign to bring the crisis of climate change to the forefront of our national conversation. I look forward to working together to defeat Donald Trump in November,” Sanders tweeted.
Thank you @TomSteyer for running a campaign to bring the crisis of climate change to the forefront of our national conversation. I look forward to working together to defeat Donald Trump in November.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 1, 2020
Steyer announced his candidacy in a video posted on YouTube last July, despite months of saying he wasn’t going to jump into the race.
Before ending his remarks, Steyer took one last shot at President Trump, saying any one of his Democratic rivals would be a better president.
“Every Democrat is a million times better than Trump,” Steyer added. “Trump is a disaster. Lindsey Graham’s a disaster. He’s a disaster for the people here. So, of course I’ll be working on that”
President Trump later responded on Twitter, mocking Steyer for spending millions of his own on the race “for NOTHING.”
“Tom Steyer who, other than Mini Mike Bloomberg, spent more dollars for NOTHING than any candidate in history, quit the race today proclaiming how thrilled he was to be a part of the Democrat Clown Show,” Trump tweeted. “Go away Tom and save whatever little money you have left!”
Tom Steyer who, other than Mini Mike Bloomberg, spent more dollars for NOTHING than any candidate in history, quit the race today proclaiming how thrilled he was to be a part of the the Democrat Clown Show. Go away Tom and save whatever little money you have left!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2020
Steyer’s withdrawal came shortly after former Vice President Joe Biden was called the projected winner of the South Carolina primary.