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Report: Howard Schultz takes a break, still no presidential announcement

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks in Miami on March 13, 2019 as he seeks a possible independent presidency run. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Howard Schultz is slowing down his campaign to avoid saying whether he is running for president. His tours and other public engagements will be put on hold until after Labor Day in September.

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Schultz left Starbucks in 2018 after decades leading the coffee giant to global dominance (and yes, losing Seattle’s NBA team, the SuperSonics, along the way). He has since made it clear that he is “seriously thinking about running for president” while also promoting his recently-published book. Schultz has promoted a centrist political agenda, rejecting the partisan divide.

Still, his statements have always fallen short of officially announcing a presidential campaign. That has drawn the ire of Democrats. And despite not announcing an official presidential effort, Schultz went on a hiring spree for campaign staff in recent months.

Now, The Huffington Post reports that Howard Schultz supporters recently received an email. In it, he states that he is taking the summer off, or what he calls a “detour” — a decision that stems from back pain issues he has recently encountered.

As reported in The Huffington Post:

Dear friends,

In the months since I announced that I am considering running for president as a centrist independent, I have been traveling the country, talking with and listening to people in 15 states. I’ve met with thousands of people, from family farmers in Kansas and veterans in Colorado to college students in Texas and small-business owners in Florida. So many have been exceedingly gracious and forthcoming about their lives—their problems as well as their achievements, their worries as well as their hopes. What I saw and heard provided a beautiful window into the strong soul of our country.

While I was in Arizona, I unfortunately experienced acute back pain that required me to cut my travels short. Over the following two months, I underwent three separate back surgeries. Today, I am feeling much better, and my doctors foresee a full recovery so long as I rest and rehabilitate. I have decided to take the summer to do just that.

I take this detour from the road reluctantly. My concern for our country’s future remains, as does my belief that the American people deserve so much more from our elected officials. Civility. Honesty. Real problem solving. My belief in these ideals will never waver.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to meet with me, to support me, and to share your stories and ideas. We truly are in this together, and I look forward to being back in touch after Labor Day.

With respect and gratitude,

Howard

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