Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, a former Democrat, is preparing to run for president as an Independent candidate in 2020, he told The New York Times.
Schultz, reports the Times, has already started the groundwork required to be on the ballot in all 50 states, but will formally decide whether to enter the race following a cross-country book tour over the next three months.
“We have a broken political system with both parties basically in business to preserve their own ideology without a recognition and responsibility to represent the interests of the American people,” Schultz, a billionaire, told the Times.
Some Democrats fear Schultz’s run could secure President Donald Trump’s re-election.
"Trump's strategy has always been divide and conquer, and this plays directly into his hands," a Democratic strategist told The Atlantic. "He's Ralph Nader without any of Nader's redeeming qualities. What's his value proposition for America? Make America like a corporate chain?"
Tina Podlodowski, the Washington State Democratic chair, slammed the idea.
“This worst-case scenario keeps me up at night. I want to spend our resources fighting for Democrats up and down the ballot, not fending off Howard Schultz’s independent bid,” she wrote in a fundraising email to supporters Friday.
Schultz responded: “Republicans and Democrats alike — who no longer see themselves as part of the far extreme of the far right and the far left — are looking for a home. The word ‘independent,’ for me, is simply a designation on the ballot.
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