MILAN – Former Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz, who is launching a book tour next week, is reportedly giving serious consideration to running for president in 2020 as a centrist independent, The Atlantic reported on Saturday.
Schultz said in an interview on CBS that the country is in a “fragile time” and President Donald Trump is “not qualified to be the president.” He added 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.”
Starbucks Chairman Emeritus also said in an interview with The New York Times that he planned to crisscross the country for the next three months as part of a book tour before deciding whether to enter the race.
“We have a broken political system with both parties basically in business to preserve their own ideology without a recognition and responsibility to represent the interests of the American people,” Mr. Schultz said in the interview.
“Republicans and Democrats alike — who no longer see themselves as part of the far extreme of the far right and the far left — are looking for a home,” he added. “The word ‘independent,’ for me, is simply a designation on the ballot.”
A number of top Democrats say President Donald Trump could win a second term if former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz runs for president.
“I have a concern that if he did run, that essentially, it would provide Donald Trump with his best hope of getting re-elected,” said Democrat Julián Castro, who was the Obama administration’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development and recently announced his own bid for the race.
A self-described “lifelong Democrat”, Mr. Schultz would face a difficult road despite his considerable wealth: few independent candidates have mounted successful challenges for the White House.