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Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg. Photos: Mark Makela/Getty Images and Ron Adar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

2020 Democratic candidate and billionaire Tom Steyer challenged incoming contender Michael Bloomberg on Friday to support a wealth tax or leave the 2020 race.

The big picture: Bloomberg told Axios he will "spend whatever it takes to defeat Donald Trump." Steyer, also a billionaire, has spent more than any other Democratic candidate to self-fund his campaign — allowing him to meet the increasingly strict qualifications for presidential debates.

What he's saying: “People like Michael Bloomberg and I, who have done well under the current economic system, have a direct responsibility to address wealth inequality and bring forth progressive plans to support working families."

  • Steyer said the Democratic nominee must support a wealth tax if they also support progressive policies like the Green New Deal and universal health care.

Between the lines: A Steyer campaign aide would not explicitly say if Steyer and Bloomberg have a responsibility to increase taxes on the wealthy because they are billionaires.

  • "I think what Tom is talking about specifically is a wealth tax, and obviously that does impact those people at the very top. And when you think about who those people at the very top are in this race, there are only two of them," the aide told Axios.

Go deeper: 2020 candidates' Q3 fundraising hauls

Go deeper

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

Driving the news: The Biden administration has faced rising inflation rates over recent months, which it has labeled as "transitory."

Hope King, author of Closer
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Investors reset their compass

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The endpoints of a stimulus-fueled market are being defined.

Why it matters: Conditions that drove excess pricing in riskier assets are steadily being removed, and big swings in the market like those seen today are inevitable as investors try to adjust to the new landscape.

3 hours ago - World

Soldiers seize power in Burkina Faso as global coup surge continues

Mutinous soldiers in Burkina Faso declared on state television Monday that they had deposed the government, closed the borders and taken control of the country. President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré has reportedly been arrested.

The big picture: This would be the third successful military coup in west Africa in eight months, after juntas took power last year in Guinea and in neighboring Mali.