Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is telling advisers he is shocked by the backlash from Democrats to his announcement that he is seriously considering running for president as an independent in 2020, Fox Business Network reports.
As a result, he is now looking more closely at whether he wants to follow through with a possible White House bid, the network’s Charlie Gasparino reported.
A source described Schultz as being “surprised” by the severity of the Democratic reaction, while another said it left him “freaking out.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., had attacked Schultz saying billionaires who want to run for president should work their way up, perhaps by starting with a bid for city council.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, said: “Anyone who would run as an independent, and clearly split the Democratic vote, and clearly help Donald Trump — that would be a terrible decision,”
And protesters interrupted Schultz several times during the first stop of his national book tour in New York City.
A senior adviser to Schultz told Fox Business that he will not officially decide on whether to enter the race until this summer.
Schultz has said the key reason behind a third-party candidacy is the fact that most Americans do not accept the extremes of both the Democrats and Republicans.
“What Howard needs to figure out still is whether there’s a need for him to be in the political process,” the adviser said. “Then he needs to figure out if he can win.”
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