Former Starbucks CEO and executive chairman Howard Schultz announced on Sunday that he’s on the cusp of announcing a self-funded bid for the White House in 2020 as an independent candidate.
“I love our country, and I am seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent,” Schultz, 65, tweeted. “This moment is like no other. Our two parties are more divided than ever. Let’s discuss how we can come together to create opportunities for more people.”
The lifelong Democrat’s tweets Sunday, his first mark on the social media platform, coincided with a prerecorded interview on CBS News’ “60 Minutes.” During the appearance, Schultz swatted back criticism that his third party bid may hand the 2020 election to President Trump should his campaign siphon votes away from the official Democratic nominee. Democrats, including presidential contender Julian Castro and Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden, have voiced their concerns over the spoiler effect Schultz could have on the race.
“I look at both parties. We see extremes on both sides. Well, we are sitting today with approximately $21.5 trillion of debt, which is a reckless example, not only of Republicans, but of Democrats as well, as a reckless failure of their constitutional responsibility,” Schultz said. “I want to see the American people win. I want to see America win. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, independent, libertarian, Republican. 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.”