Tom Steyer Vows to Dismantle 'Corporate Takeover' of Government, Meghan McCain Questions Billionaire Candidacy

Billionaire 2020 Democratic candidate Tom Steyer laid out his case for "immediately" undoing the "corporate takeover" of the U.S. government on The View Thursday, pushing back repeated attempts by co-host Meghan McCain to derail his grassroots-based pitch to voters.

Steyer, a longtime hedge fund manager and ardent Trump critic, opened his personal 2020 presidential pitch on The View by declaring "anybody" who was on the Democratic debate stages the past two nights is "a million times better than the criminal in the White House." Steyer said his platform focuses on "immediately and urgently" defeating corporate control of the government and stabilizing climate change. Steyer is currently making a pitch to get the 130,000 donors necessary to secure a spot on the September Democratic debate stage.

But McCain, who frequently plays devil's advocate on The View panel, questioned why another billionaire businessman feels the need to jump into the 2020 race.

"Mr. Steyer, with all due respect, we had the Starbucks guy [Howard Schultz] on, too, and you are, much like him, a billionaire who has never held elected office, never worked in government, never served in the military," McCain said Thursday. "We already have a billionaire businessman in the White House, and it's not going so great."

Fellow co-host Whoopi Goldberg also floated a similar criticism of the billionaire financial manager's 2020 aspirations.

"Does America really need, you know, another really wealthy guy in the White House? I don't know," she said.

Steyer stressed that his involvement in grassroots campaigns alongside average Americans over the past several years has given him "organization and vision" that has helped win legislative and electoral victories against candidates supported by big oil and tobacco companies. He repeatedly stated that the "corporate takeover" of the U.S. government means that any and all progressive legislation is just "theoretical" until such corporate overlords are removed.

He said there is no greater proof that corporations control many politicians at every level of government when the "richest Americans and the richest corporations" get the biggest tax breaks at the expense of everyone else.

McCain continued pressing Steyer, "I just think billionaires -- put your money where your mouth is with these candidates ... but why run yourself instead of funding them?"

Steyer said he plans to tax the wealthiest Americans and encouraged viewers to imagine the possibilities of having "real" health care reform and the Green New Deal to reverse climate change -- something he says is possible he can take on corporations directly as president.

Goldberg asked Steyer to repeat his desire to see the wealthiest corporations pay fair -- or any -- taxes.

"We've got to tell these guys in big business and all these corporations like Amazon and all of them — Facebook, all of them — you have got to pay your fair share," she told Steyer. "That's what I want to hear you say."

"I absolutely believe that," Steyer replied.

"Say it again," Goldberg said, prompting audience laughter.

"Sure," said Steyer. "Whoopi was right, Whoopi was absolutely right."

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"We already have a billionaire businessman in the White House," Meghan McCain, Tom Steyer spar over 2020 campaign Screenshot: ABC The View