Democratic megadonor and billionaire Tom Steyer on Thursday said the Democratic establishment in Washington, D.C. isn’t doing “a single constructive thing” for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
Steyer spoke at the liberal Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans, where he slammed the establishment Democrats in Congress for not being aggressive enough against President Donald Trump’s agenda.
“How many people in this room think that the Democratic establishment in Washington is listening to you and doing what you want,” Steyer said. “Seriously, I’m asking. Raise your hand if you feel heard– the leaders you elected are actually listening to you and doing what you want them to do.”
After a long pause, Steyer responded, “Me neither.”
“I don’t see a single constructive thing coming out of Washington, D.C.,” Steyer said.
Dean Obeidallah, a progressive radio host who was sharing the stage with Steyer, received cheers after he said that he doesn’t care what riles up Republicans anymore, adding, “November 6 is not Election Day. It is judgment day.”
This is not the first time that Steyer, who has been floated as a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, has been critical of his own party. He has taken on establishment Democrats as early as March with his “Need to Impeach” campaign pushing Democrats in Congress to move for Trump’s impeachment.
“From our standpoint, the urgency, there are a number of reasons to be urgent [about impeachment], but the biggest reason is, he refuses to protect the United States of America,” Steyer said in his opening remarks of an Arlington, Va. town hall back in March.
The campaign mailed over 5,100 impeachment guides to federal and state candidates back in March “as a resource to help inform you about the steps we must take to remove one of the gravest dangers our country has ever confronted,” according to Newsweek.
While Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) has been vocal in her call for Trump to be impeached, House Democratic leadership–House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.)–have distanced themselves from the impeachment campaign, urging Democrats to wait for the completion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Axios pointed out earlier this year that Democrats have privately complained Steyer’s campaign is an “unhelpful, out-of-touch strategy.”
Former Barack Obama White House adviser David Axelrod slammed Steyer last year, saying his campaign against Trump seems like a “vanity project” and that it is “unhelpful” to Democrats trying take back the House and Senate this fall.