Launching presidential bid, Tom Steyer notes father was Nuremberg prosecutor
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Launching presidential bid, Tom Steyer notes father was Nuremberg prosecutor

Democrat hedge fund billionaire, who has called for Trump’s impeachment, opens campaign by railing at ‘rigged system’

Tom Steyer speaks at The Center for American Progress conference in Washington, DC, May 22, 2019. (Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/ LightRocket via Getty Images/via JTA)
Tom Steyer speaks at The Center for American Progress conference in Washington, DC, May 22, 2019. (Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/ LightRocket via Getty Images/via JTA)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Tom Steyer, the billionaire liberal who has excoriated Republicans for what he has said are anti-Semitic attacks on his advocacy, is running for president.

Steyer, who has led calls for Donald Trump’s impeachment, announced Tuesday that he would be the 25th candidate running for the Democratic presidential nomination. (A 26th, Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, dropped out this week.)

In a four-minute video posted on social media, the hedge fund billionaire emphasized what he said was a tendency in both parties to heed corporations and not voters.

“What people believe is that the system has left them,” he said, and lauded the dedication to service of previous generations, citing his Jewish father’s service in the US Navy in World War II, and then afterward as a prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials.

“My father graduated from Yale Law School, at 21 started being a lawyer, and then he went into the Navy because of Pearl Harbor, and then at the end of the war, they sent him over to be the assistant to the chief prosecutor at Nuremberg,” he said of Roy Henry Steyer. “I think my father looked at being in the service or being at Nuremberg as, like, you have your duty, you do it.”

Steyer, whose mother is an Episcopalian and who now attends an Episcopalian church, has identified as Jewish in the past; a rabbi helped officiate his wedding.

In the video, Steyer rails against the “rigged system” and the legal doctrine of corporate personhood.

He has described Republican attacks on him and other liberal Jewish billionaires who back Democrats as anti-Semitic, singling out a tweet last year by Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican and the House minority leader. McCarthy tweeted, “We cannot allow [George] Soros, Steyer, and [Michael] Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican November 6th.”

“In terms of interpreting what he said, that seems, to me, like a straight-up anti-Semitic move,” Steyer told CNN at the time. McCarthy later deleted the tweet.

Another senior Republican, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, has spelled Steyer’s name with a dollar sign.

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