Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has been looking into the possibility of challenging Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential election, but the reception he’s received from Democrats has been less than enthusiastic.
Presidential hopeful Julian Castro claimed on Sunday that an independent run by Schultz would likely mean President Trump winning reelection next fall.
“I have a concern that, if he did run, that, essentially, it would provide Donald Trump with his best hope of getting reelected,” Castro told CNN’s State of the Union.
“I don’t think that that would be in the best interest of our country,” Castro said. “We need new leadership. … I would suggest to Mr. Schultz to truly think about the negative impact that that might make.”
Schultz said during a CBS’ “60 Minutes” appearance that he’s already assembled a campaign team that can get him on the ballot in every county and in all 50 states.
“I am seriously thinking of running for president,” Schultz said. “I will run as a centrist independent, outside of the two-party system. We’re living at a most-fragile time, 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’s necessary on behalf of the American people and are engaged, every single day, in revenge politics.”
He views himself as an alternative to a failing two-party system.
“I want to see America win. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, independent, libertarian, Republican,” Schultz said. “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.”
The fear Schultz will play out like Ralph Nader for George W. Bush’s win against Al Gore in 2000 and like Ross Perot for hurting George H.W. Bush’s reelection bid in 1992 to Bill Clinton.
“There is zero appetite for this, and there is an urgent need for the Democratic candidate to win in 2020,” tweeted Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii.)
Former President Obama’s aides also slammed the idea.
“If Howard Schultz goes through with this half-baked idea, he will pose an existential threat to a Democrat in what will likely be 2020 race decided by a few votes in a handful of states,” tweeted Dan Pfeiffer, a former Obama adviser.
David Axelrod, another Obama alum, said the prospect of a Schultz presidential run is the “only good news” Trump got this week.
And even Democrats from Starbucks’ home state urged Schultz to back down.
The Washington state Democratic Party posted a picture of a Starbucks cup with a handwritten plea: “Don’t do it, Howard!”
They may also need a coffee cup with “This goes for you too, Bernie.” America needs to get rid of Trump, and independent campaigns will indeed only seek to weaken a mainstream Democrat’s campaign, helping reelect the most corrupt and inept and frankly, worst, President of all time.