Bloomberg Warns Schultz: Running for President as Independent Will Get Trump Re-elected

Former New York City mayor says he won't run for president as an independent and warns against splitting the anti-Trump vote

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg talking to reporters, January 22, 2019.
Brian Witte,AP

U.S. billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg on Monday stated that he would not make an independent bid to run for president in the 2020 election. 

Bloomberg said in an official statement released on his website that "in 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end re-electing the president," apparently taking a jab at former Starbucks CEO Brian Schultz, who on Sunday announced he is "seriously considering" running independently. 

"I love our country, and I am seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent," Schultz tweeted.

Among those urging him not to run as an independent are David Axelrod, the former adviser to President Barack Obama, and Tina Podlodowski, the Democratic Party chairwoman in Washington state, where Schultz has lived for decades.

>> Read more: Democrats decry Schultz idea to run as independent in 2020

“For somebody who is professing to be a lifelong Democrat, I think to be running as in independent in this particular cycle is not a wise thing to do,” Podlodowski said.

Julian Castro, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development who announced a bid for the Democratic nomination this month, said Sunday on CNN he is concerned that if Schultz did run an independent campaign “it would provide Donald Trump with his best hope of getting re-elected.”

The 65-year-old Seattle billionaire launches a tour Monday to promote his latest book, “From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America.” He has stops this week in New York; Tempe, Arizona; Seattle; and San Francisco — but no dates listed for the early voting states of Iowa or New Hampshire.

He’s been mentioned as a potential candidate many times before, and he’s done little to quell speculation about his presidential ambitions since saying when he retired from Starbucks last June that his future could include “public service.”