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Former Starbucks CEO considering independent White House bid

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said Sunday he was considering a bid for U.S. president as an independent, upsetting some Democrats who believe he would hurt their party’s chances of defeating Republican President Donald Trump in 2020.

“I am seriously thinking of running for president. I will run as a centrist independent,” Schultz said in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

Schultz, describing himself as a “lifelong Democrat,” said Americans were tired of the behavior of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

“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,” Schultz told CBS.

Democrats responded to his CBS interview with concern that Schultz would take votes away from the Democratic Party nominee. Julian Castro, a former U.S. housing official who launched a bid for the Democratic nomination earlier this month, told CNN he was worried an independent run by Schultz “would provide Donald Trump with his best hope of getting re-elected.”

“There is zero appetite for this, and there is an urgent need for the Democratic candidate to win in 2020,” Democratic Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii wrote on Twitter.

The Democratic Party in Schultz’s home state of Washington circulated on Twitter a photo of a Starbucks coffee cup with “Don’t Do it Howard!” scribbled on the side.


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