Trump Attacks Schultz: Doesn't Have the 'Guts' and Not the 'Smartest Person' - 'America Already Has That'

Democrats decry Schultz idea to run as independent in 2020

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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz responds to Donald Trump's executive order on refugees and immigration.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz responds to Donald Trump's executive order on refugees and immigration.Credit: REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger, AP /Richard, Bloomberg

The possibility that former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz might launch an independent run for the presidency is not playing well with Democrats in his home state.

“I have two words for Howard Schultz on a potential run for president as an independent: Just. Don’t,” said Tina Podlodowski, chairwoman of the Washington Democratic Party, in a statement, the Seattle Times reported .

“Too much is at stake to make this about the ambitions of any one person,” she said. “The 2020 race for President has to be about relegating Donald Trump to the dustbin of history, and reclaiming the Oval Office for our people and our future.”

Schultz says in a pretaped interview on "60 Minutes" Sunday night that he's thinking seriously about a presidential campaign — and would run as an independent. His primary issue, he says, would be to tackle the national debt.

Trump weighed in on Schultz's interview on "60 Minutes": "Howard Schultz doesn’t have the “guts” to run for President! Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the “smartest person.” Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!"

Democrats fear an independent candidacy might split the anti-Trump vote in 2020 and secure Trump’s re-election. Podlodowski said Schultz has claimed to be a lifelong Democrat and should run as one if he’s interested in an office.

“You can even start at home, with the Washington State Democratic Party,” she said.

Schultz has not cultivated substantial political connections in his home state. He’s also remembered by basketball fans as the former owner of the Seattle SuperSonics.

After failing to persuade legislators to upgrade facilities with public money, Schultz and his co-owners sold the team to a group that moved the team in 2008 to Oklahoma City.

Schultz for years has hinted that he might want to enter politics as a centrist problem solver. He’s promoting a new book, “From the Ground UP: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America.” It will be released Jan. 28.

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