Billionaire businessman Howard Schultz, who said he is “seriously” considering an independent 2020 presidential bid, was shouted down by a protester at the kickoff event for his nationwide book tour on Monday night in New York City.
“WATCH: Howard Schultz heckled at first campaign appearance”
— The Hill (@thehill) January 29, 2019
“Go back to getting ratioed on Twitter,” the protester added, pointing to Schultz’s tweets that were garnering substantially more comments than retweets or likes, a sign of disagreement with his message on the platform. “Go back to Davos with the other Billionaire elite who think they know how to run the world.”
Schultz was speaking at the Union Square Barnes and Noble when he was interrupted by the protester. He commented that he was not surprised by the criticism after announcing his possible run.
“I’m not running a primary race on Twitter” he said.
In a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday, Schultz said he would run as an independent instead of as a Democrat because “we see extremes on both sides.” Schultz told The New York Times he planned to tour the country for the next three months before deciding whether to ultimately run. In an NPR interview, Schultz said it “would kill me to see” Trump re-elected, which he believes would happen if a progressive won the Democratic Party’s nomination.
“Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told @nprinskeep he believes the Democrats will be too far left to win against President Trump in 2020.”
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told @nprinskeep he believes the Democrats will be too far left to win against President Trump in 2020.
Full interview tomorrow on Morning Edition. pic.twitter.com/CBhPviE7uj
— Morning Edition (@MorningEdition) January 28, 2019
Democrats generally have been very unhappy about Schultz’s proposed independent bid. They believe it would improve Trump’s chances to win re-election in 2020.
Another billionaire, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, is also considering a presidential bid of his own, but as a Democrat. He has considered running as an independent in the past, but now believes that is the wrong thing to do.
Bloomberg issued a statement yesterday saying:
“Given the strong pull of partisanship and the realities of the electoral college system, there is no way an independent can win. That is truer today than ever before.”
If Howard Schultz decides to run for president as an independent in 2020 he could very well help Donald Trump if the president does in fact run for re-election next year (which is not guaranteed). However, with his multi-billion dollar fortune, he can do what he wants and Democrats are powerless to stop him.
Some people believe that it is possible that Schultz would actually siphon more Republican votes than Democratic votes, so the impact he would have in 2020 is not clear. All that’s guaranteed is that next year’s presidential campaign season will be chaotic and full of surprises.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.