Ex-Starbucks billionaire CEO Howard Schultz announced in a letter on his website on Friday, Sept. 6 that he will no longer be running for president as an independent as he prepares to launch his own party.
“My belief in the need to reform our two-party system has not wavered, but I have concluded that an independent campaign for the White House is not how I can best serve our country at this time,” Schultz wrote in his public letter.
“It concerns me that so many voices within the Democratic Party are going so far to the left. I say to myself, ‘How are we going to pay for these things,’ in terms of things like single payer (and) people espousing the fact that the government is going to give everyone a job,” Schultz’s letter read.
“The Democrats are now saying, ‘Medicare For All.’ That’s their solution, which is basically a $33 trillion number, which would take 180 million Americans off of the insurance that’s provided by their employer, wipe out the insurance industry. It’s not realistic,” Schultz asserted in an interview with Yahoo Finance earlier this week.
“I don’t think that’s realistic,” Schultz said. “I think we got to get away from these falsehoods and start talking about the truth and not false promises.”
While the former Starbucks CEO isn’t keen on agreeing with President Trump’s views, he doesn’t hesitate to lambaste Democrats running for office, as well as Democratic incumbents for drifting further left.
Making references to leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, Schultz said Tuesday on “Fox & Friends” that they’re ultimately the leading contenders that are “out of touch with these kind of policies that in my view that are not realistic.”
“Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others are proposing to try and defeat Donald Trump with a far extreme proposal,” Schultz said at the South by Southwest festival in Texas.
Schultz also said he was taking a break from running for president because of back problems. “[A] back injury in April and three subsequent surgeries have required a level of recovery that has prevented me from continuing my travels and engaging with people to the degree that is necessary,” his letter read.
President Trump apparently challenged Schultz to get back into the race, tweeting “Howard Schultz doesn’t have the ‘guts’ to run for President!”
Schultz, who considers himself a lifelong Democrat, first considered joining the presidential run back in November 2018.
A poll by Change Research earlier this year revealed that Schultz’s favorability is a mere 4 percent across Democrats, Republicans, and independents.
According to the poll, a whopping 50 percent of Democratic respondents viewed Schultz as “unfavorable,” while 43 percent of Republican voters and 31 percent of independent respondents shared the same opinion.
Results of the same poll also found that Schultz’s name was largely unknown among respondents, with 56 percent of respondents noting that they have never heard of him or did not have an opinion.
The poll also found that Schultz’s presence in the 2020 race for president would take away “an average of four points” from what the Democratic candidate receives in a two-way race, “while taking just 1 [percent] away from Donald Trump.”