GARDNERVILLE — Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer said because the incumbent is Donald Trump, “this is a generational election.”
“We’re either going to a much better place or we’re going to a dark place,” he said in an interview with the Appeal on Tuesday.
Steyer added that, based on climate change, “this might be the most important election in the history of the planet.”
“This isn’t about impeachment,” he said. “Everybody knows he’s a crook. Everybody knows he’s racist and nasty. The question is, is he competent to be president and the answer is no.”
Steyer said to beat Trump, “you totally have to be able to take him down on the facts.”
He said after more than 30 years in the private sector that made him into a billionaire, he is the candidate to do that and remake the federal government to serve the American people.
“You have to beat him on the economy because that’s what he’s running on.”
Steyer levied sharp criticism on the president and Congress saying: “The U.S. government does not stand up for American citizens.”
He pointed to the fact that insulin is 10 times more expensive in the U.S. than Canada.
Congress, he said, “passed a law saying you cannot drive to Canada to get your insulin. How is the American government allowing this to happen?”
Steyer described himself as “very progressive,” but said he doesn’t support Medicare for all.
He said he’s for a public option on the Affordable Care Act that doesn’t take away private insurance and laws that help drive down the cost so everyone can afford healthcare.
“I’m not a socialist,” he said. “I don’t think corporations can run the government but I don’t think the government should own them.”
He said Trump’s approach is huge tax giveaways to the rich and big corporations.
“His budget is cutting all the things that support Americans.”
He said Trump wants to take away the ability to get student debt cancelled by public work, go after Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Steyer said the government has used the Social Security Trust fund, “like a piggy bank.”
He said tariffs are another indicator of Trump’s incompetence on the economy.
“Tariffs are a terrible idea. Get rid of them on day one,” he said pointing out that Americans, not the Chinese pay the tariffs.
Steyer said he has fronted most of the millions he has spent on his campaign so far.
“I’m funding the bulk of it. It’s sometimes hard to get people to give to somebody who’s really rich, even my friends.”
After finishing a meet and greet in Douglas County organizers said drew nearly 300 people, Steyer headed for Reno where he had events scheduled.
He repeated that with his experience, he is the one who can bring the Democratic Party together and take Trump down using the facts and show voters Trump’s incompetence.