Starbucks’ Howard Schultz ‘seriously considering’ independent run for president

Jan 28, 2019, 6:55 AM | Updated: 9:01 am
Starbucks' Howard Schultz in the first Starbucks located in Seattle's Pike Place Market. (Courtesy of Starbucks) 
              FILE- In this Aug. 2, 1996, file photo, Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks Coffee Co., waves after cutting the ribbon to inaugurate its store in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district. Starbucks Corp. says Schultz is stepping down as executive chairman later this month of the coffee chain he joined more than 30 years ago. Schultz, who oversaw the transformation of Starbucks into a global chain with more than 28,000 locations, had left the CEO job at the company last year to focus on innovation and social impact projects. The Seattle-based chain says Schultz will have the title of chairman emeritus as of June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)
            Howard Schulze signs the wall of the first Starbucks retail store located at Seattle's Pike Place Market. (Courtesy of Starbucks) Starbucks' Howard Schultz in the first Starbucks located in Seattle's Pike Place Market. (Courtesy of Starbucks) Starbucks' Howard Schultz at the first Starbucks located in Seattle's Pike Place Market. (Courtesy of Starbucks) Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz endorsed Hillary Clinton during an interview with CNN in 2016. (AP) Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. (AP) Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. (File, Associated Press) Howard Schultz introduces Clay Bennett as the new owner of the Seattle Supersonics July 18, 2006. (AP file)

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is eying a 2020 presidential campaign. But instead of running as a Democrat, the party he has previously favored, he will run as an independent.

“I am seriously thinking of running for president,” Schultz said on 60 Minutes Sunday evening. “I will run as a centrist independent, outside of the two party system.”

“We are living at a most fragile time,” he said. “Not only the fact that this president is not qualified to be the president, but the fact that both parties are consistently not doing what is necessary on behalf of the American people and are engaged every single day in revenge politics.

RELATED: Democrats decry Schultz idea to run in 2020
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Schultz is the businessman who lead Starbucks to worldwide domination. He is also known as the former owner of the Seattle SuperSonics and is regarded as being largely responsible for the city losing its beloved NBA team.

On 60 Minutes, Schultz said he doesn’t classify himself as a Democrat or Republican and discussed his disappointment with the national debt.

“We are sitting today with approximately $21.5 trillion of debt,” Schultz said. “Which is a reckless example, not only of Republicans but of Democrats as well, of a reckless failure of their Constitutional responsibility.”

“I want to see America win,” he said. “I don’t care if you are 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.”

Schultz followed up with The Seattle Times to say the nation’s political environment “is filled with a level of toxicity we have not seen, certainly in my lifetime.” The Times notes that Schultz is embarking on a book tour over the next few weeks to promote his new title, “From the Ground UP: a Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America.” Tina Podlodowski, chair of the Washington state Democratic Party, told The Times that Schultz is selfish and that his presidential goals aren’t “about bringing people together. It’s about one person: Howard Schultz.”

About one week ago, Podlodowski discussed Schutlz’s potential presidential run saying “Just. Don’t.”

The concern is that dividing up the voting pool with more candidates, instead of a strong opposition, will help Trump get re-elected. Indeed, Trump did not win the majority of votes in the 2016 election, rather won the electoral college. His opponent Hillary Clinton received about 3 million more votes in the general election.

“Too much is at stake to make this about the ambitions of any one person,” Podlodowski said one week ago. “The 2020 race for president has to be about relegating Donald Trump to the dustbin of history, and reclaiming the Oval Office for our people and our future.”

She’s not the only person to express that sentiment. Julian Castro told CNN that Schultz’s independent run “would provide Donald Trump with his best hope of getting re-elected.” Castro is a former secretary of Housing and Urban Development who is also running for the Democratic nomination.

Following the news that Schultz may run as an independent, President Donald Trump tweeted that Schultz is not the “smartest person” and says he doesn’t have the guts to run.

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Starbucks’ Howard Schultz ‘seriously considering’ independent run for president