Capitol Alert

Tom Steyer calls GOP presidential candidates ‘dangerous people’

Launching a statewide voter-registration drive Thursday, billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer offered a harsh assessment of the GOP presidential field.

The effort, targeting California’s seven million unregistered voters ahead of the June 7 primary, was announced by Steyer as the Republican presidential candidates are set to campaign here this weekend. It includes a TV ad featuring Steyer and clips of frontrunner Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Steyer said among his motivations is growing the voter rolls ahead of a November election that he says will demonstrate the largest contrast between candidates in decades, particularly on environmental issues. In the TV ad, Trump and Cruz express skepticism about global climate change, with Trump dismissing it as a “hoax.”

“Those guys are coming from such an unreasonable place,” Steyer, a major Democratic donor, said in an interview Thursday.

“How could they be so scared of the future and so scared of the truth that their entire program to me seems to be designed to deny the obvious facts?” Steyer asked. “And not care about the majority of Americans. It’s crazy to me. Theses are dangerous people from my point of view.”

Steyer could not put a dollar figure on the registration bid, which is nonpartisan, but said its unveiling had nothing to do with recent Trump robocalls to independent voters urging them to register as Republican before the May 27 deadline.

“I think if you look around the state you will see that the people who are most likely to be unregistered are either young, or people of color,” he said. “So it’s true that we will try to register people where they are unregistered the most ... It is really about the broadest possible participation in our democracy.”

Steyer’s announcement comes after he pledged to spend $25 million to attract the attention of millennials on college campuses in seven swing states.

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago