Democratic Candidates Bid Farewell to Tom Steyer After He Drops Out of Presidential Race

Tom Steyer will no longer be running to become president, leaving seven Democratic candidates still remaining.

Many of his politicians have responded to the news by thanking him for his contribution to the debate, particularly on issues of racial justice and climate change.

The billionaire dropped out of the race after securing third place in the South Carolina primary, behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. According to the Associated Press, Steyer spent more on television advertising ($24 million) than all the other candidates combined, but those efforts did not translate to votes and he failed to gain a high enough percentage to earn delegates.

But while he has decided to drop out of the race, and has admitted he could not see a path where he might win the presidency, he has promised to continue to fight for the issues that got him to enter in the first place—racial, climate, and economic justice.

"I got into this race to fight for racial, climate, and economic justice," he wrote on Twitter. "I will continue that fight, and do everything I can to support the eventual nominee. I thank all of you for your support and love throughout the campaign. Join me in doing whatever it takes to beat Mr. Trump"

I got into this race to fight for racial, climate, and economic justice. I will continue that fight, and do everything I can to support the eventual nominee. I thank all of you for your support and love throughout the campaign. Join me in doing whatever it takes to beat Mr. Trump pic.twitter.com/8loWV87cS3

— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) March 1, 2020

Since Steyer's departure from the race, several of his fellow politicians and former rivals have taken to Twitter to thank him for his contribution, particularly on the issue of climate change.

Elizabeth Warren tweeted, "Thank you, Tom Steyer. You've been a powerful voice for climate advocacy and holding Donald Trump accountable. I look forward to fighting alongside you to defeat the climate crisis—and Donald Trump."

"Thank you Tom Steyer for running a campaign to bring the crisis of climate change to the forefront of our national conversation," Bernie Sanders added. "I look forward to working together to defeat Donald Trump in November."

Joe Biden praised his lifelong commitment to causes like climate change and racial justice.

"His presence will continue to be felt in the race, and I look forward to working alongside him to get Donald Trump out of the White House," Biden tweeted.

Former Democratic candidate Cory Booker commended Steyer for "ringing your leadership, innovation, and ideas to this race."

While the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, hailed Steyer's "progressive, powerful voice on the national stage."

"Thank you for your leadership and advocacy," he tweeted. "Let's keep up the fight in CA."

Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York and former Democratic presidential candidate, thanked Steyer for "speaking out with passion against the unacceptable concentration of wealth and power in America."

"Tom, you have helped push our party away from the corporations and toward the grassroots, where we belong," he tweeted.

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, wrote that she had "nothing but gratitude" for Steyer, who she described as "a steadfast ally to women and families."

Not everyone was full of praise or condolences. President Donald Trump chimed in, calling Steyer a "failed" presidential candidate.

"I would find it hard to believe that failed presidential candidates Tom Steyer, or Mini Mike Bloombeg, would contribute to the Democrat Party, even against me, after the way they have been treated—laughed at and mocked," he tweeted. "The real politicians ate them up and spit them out!"

Steyer responded, writing, "Donald, I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to beat you and save our democracy."

Steyer's departure leaves seven candidates fighting for the nomination: Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg, Amy Klobucher, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard.

Sen. Sanders (D-Vt.) took the lead in a Real Clear Politics poll with early wins in New Hampshire and Nevada, but Biden's overwhelming victory in South Carolina may challenge his frontrunner status.

The remaining seven have been whittled down from a large pool of more than two dozen Democratic hopefuls at the start of the race. Prior to Steyer, Andrew Yang was the most recent to drop out following a disappointing run in New Hampshire in early February.

Tom Steyer speaks South Carolina
Tom Steyer's departure form the race leaves seven Democratic candidates still standing. Steyer speaks during A People's Town Hall hosted by SiriusXM Urban View's Joe Madison at Mother Emanuel Church on February 27, 2020 in Charleston, South Carolina. Jeff Gentner/Getty Images for SiriusXM