There’s more to Howard Schultz than just Starbucks coffee.
WASHINGTON – Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is not getting a lot of positive feedback since indicating on Sunday that he was seriously considering a 2020 presidential run.
“Don’t help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire a—–e!” a man screamed Monday night as Schultz discussed the possibility of running. The interruption came as Schultz was being interviewed during the first stop on his tour promoting his new book, “From the Ground Up.”
“Go back to getting ratioed on Twitter. Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elite who think they know how to run the world!” added the heckler, who has not been identified. (Getting “ratioed” means getting more replies than retweets in a Twitter post, indicating a negative reaction.)
Although most have not used profanity, many political figures and media pundits have echoed the heckler’s sentiments.
Schultz’s fellow billionaire, Michael Bloomberg, warned him against running, saying in a statement that “the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the President.”
‘Not a wise thing’: Democrats pan Howard Schultz’s potential 2020 bid
Bloomberg has explored running for president as an independent in the past and said that “the data was very clear and very consistent. Given the strong pull of partisanship and the realities of the electoral college system, there is no way an independent can win.”
He said electing Trump was “a risk I refused to run in 2016 and we can’t afford to run it now.”
New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg wrote that if Schultz enters the race, he will running a “narcissistic spoiler campaign.”
Trump appeared to try to goad Schultz, tweeting, “He doesn’t have the ‘guts’ to run for President!”
“This is no time for Howard Schultz’s foolishness,” read the headline of a column by the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson.
CNBC host Andrew Sorkin, who interviewed Schultz at the book event, asked the former coffee executive if he would drop out of the race if polls indicated his third-party candidacy could lead to Trump’s re-election.
“Nobody wants to see Donald Trump removed from office more than me,” Schultz said. But he added that he would only run as an independent if he believed he could win, so he couldn’t “answer that question today.”
“But I’m certainly not going to do anything to put Donald Trump back in the Oval Office,” he said.
If he runs, Schultz says it will be as an independent centrist because both Republicans and Democrats have been taken over by their extreme wings. When asked about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and her belief that billionaires represent a moral failing of the American system, Schultz said she was “misinformed.”
“It’s so un-American to think that way,” he said.
“I am self-made,” Schultz added. “I came from the projects and took advantage of the promise of the country. I am living proof of the American Dream.”
Schultz’s book, “From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America,” hit stores on Monday. As of Tuesday morning, the book had one and a half stars on Amazon, based on 15 reviews.
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