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Tipsheet

Howard Schultz Defends His Independent Stance in 2020 Election

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz continues to defend an alternative to Democrat and Republican agendas as he considers running for president in the 2020 election.

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Schultz published a statement Monday on the op-ed platform Medium, where he plugged his new book, From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America. He also responded to criticisms about his decision to run as an independent if he plans to go up against President Donald Trump.

“As I’m sure you’ve seen, there have been some skeptical and even downright angry comments from party activists and inside-the-Beltway pundits in the press and on social media,” Schultz wrote. “Others have expressed genuine fears that an independent candidate could help re-elect President Trump. I hear and respect this overriding concern, and have repeatedly promised that I will not be a spoiler. I am committed to ensuring that I will do nothing to re-elect Donald Trump. I mean it.”

Schultz said he hopes his campaign will reach out to the 45 percent of Americans who felt that neither party truly represented their political view, as well as non-swing states, where parties haven’t had consistent wins in elections.

“I have come to feel a deep responsibility and moral obligation to address Americans’ frustrations with our broken two-party system,” he said.

Schultz doubts that a radically-left Democratic nominee can get enough votes to defeat the president, nor does he think that voters should wait to see if Democrats nominate a moderate who can represent independents, disaffected Republicans, and left-leaning voters.

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“To be very clear,” Schultz said. “I firmly believe there is an unprecedented appetite for a centrist independent presidential candidate, and that there is a credible path for an independent to win more than the necessary 270 electoral votes—a key criteria in my consideration of whether to run.”

In the next few weeks, Schultz said he’ll provide details about how he thinks a centrist independent should govern, but he revealed that he wants independents to diverge from “revenge politics” and consider both political sides in decision-making.

“As we go on this journey,” he said. “I promise to keep an open mind, learn and improve, stay in touch, and share what’s happening along the way. We have started a conversation, and it is critically important.”

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