Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Steyer: Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Billionaire and Democratic activist Tom Steyer has nothing but nice things to say about Nancy Pelosi — but he thinks she should stop using her "crumbs" line to talk about the GOP tax plan.

"Words really matter," he told Axios at the California Democratic Party convention. "I think she probably wouldn't use that word again because they're trying to use it against her. Nancy was making a point that was true, but she said it in a way that disparaged the amount of money that they were getting."

Steyer said he understands what Pelosi was trying to say — that the vast majority of Americans are getting a disproportionate amount compared to the wealthiest — but he said she should stop using "crumbs" because Republicans will continue to "turn it around to make it look like she's insensitive."

He wouldn't say if Democrats need new leadership. "I'm sure Nancy will kill herself to win on Nov. 6," he said. "I have a ton of gratitude for what she's done and the job she's done."

  • But he thinks the Democratic Party needs to figure out what it stands for and what it's willing to fight for.
  • His speech at the California Democratic Party convention will highlight that message. The Trump administration is "so damn dumb," he said, and Democrats have to ask: "What are they not doing that we want them to do?"

One quick thing, on Republicans dusting off their old playbook and using attack ads against Pelosi as a 2018 campaign strategy: "I don't think there's any doubt that Nancy is a flash for the hard-right," he said. "They've managed to turn her into a caricature of what they fear."

Go deeper: Prominent Democrats want Pelosi to stop using her "crumbs" line.

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

6 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.