by WorldTribune Staff, January 30, 2019
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is brushing off Democrats who say the billionaire running for president as an independent in 2020 would split the anti-Trump vote and guarantee the re-election of the current occupant of the White House.
Schultz said he isn’t worried about offending any political party: “I’m concerned about one thing: Doing everything I can to help families who have been left behind, and to restore dignity and honor back in the Oval Office,” he told Axios.
“I believe that lifelong Democrats and lifelong Republicans are looking for a home, and they’re not spending hours and hours on Twitter,” Schultz said.
During a Jan. 28 book event that featured a question-and-answer session, Schultz said: “I am seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent. And I wanted to clarify the word independent, which I view merely as a designation on the ballot.”
CNN broadcast a clip of a heckler at the event who shouted: “Don’t help elect Trump you egotistical, billionaire a–hole!”
Many Democrats feel the heckler’s pain.
Julian Castro, who earlier this month announced he will seek the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2020, said: “I have a concern that if he did run, that essentially, it would provide [President] Donald Trump with his best hope of getting re-elected. I would suggest to Mr. Schultz to truly think about the negative impact that that might make.”
Democratic Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz tweeted: “The best thing that Howard Schultz can do for the country is invest in education, voting rights, civil rights and climate advocacy. There is zero appetite for this, and there is an urgent need for the Democratic candidate to win in 2020.”
Michael Bloomberg, another billionaire who has floated the idea of running in 2020, said: “In 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the president. That’s a risk I refused to run in 2016 and we can’t afford to run it now. We must remain united, and we must not allow any candidate to divide or fracture us. The stakes couldn’t be higher.”
Schultz, who has acknowledged he is a lifelong Democrat, told Axios: “I’m putting myself in a position that I know is going to create hate, anger, disenfranchisement from friends, from Democrats.”
In a Jan. 27 interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes”, Schultz said: “I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, independent, Libertarian, Republican. Bring me your ideas. And I will be an independent person who will embrace those ideas. Because I am not, in any way, in bed with a party.”
When asked about his business experience, Schultz said he had “a long history of recognizing, I’m not the smartest person in the room.”
Schultz also added: “I think, like most people, I’ve become bored with President Trump and his tweets.”
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump tweeted of Schultz: “Watched him on @ 60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the ‘smartest person.’ Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!”