STARBUCKS billionaire Howard Schultz is considering running for President as an independent candidate, it was reported.
The 65-year-old stood down as chief executive of the coffee giant last year and during his two spells charge it went from 11 cafes to more than 28,000 in 77 countries.
He has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump’s “vitriolic behaviour” and his decision to cut corporation tax as well as what he said was the Democrats veering to the left.
A person close to Schultz’s advisers told CNN he is “are exploring a possible independent bid for the presidency in 2020”.
Schultz “is thinking deeply about his future and how he can best serve the country,” they added.
But the prospect of a White House bid from Schultz has led to fears he could split the Democratic vote and result in a Trump victor.
Anyone thinking of running for president as an independent would have to think really hard about splitting the anti-incumbent, anti-Trump vote
Howard Wolfson, a strategist for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, urged Schultz to think carefully before running.
“Anyone thinking of running for president as an independent would have to think really hard about splitting the anti-incumbent, anti-Trump vote and just playing the spoiler role and reelecting Trump,” he told the Washington Post.
“I think that would be a terrible legacy for anyone to leave.”
The paper also pointed out that in all but two of U.S. elections, candidates have won the presidency by earning a majority of electoral college votes.
But if no candidate wins 270 – which could happen if a credible independent like Schultz splits the vote – the result will be decide by a vote in the Senate, where there is a Republican majority.
After he retired Schultz spoke about the possibility of a presidential bid in an interview with the New York Times.
“I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service,” he said.
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“But I’m a long way from making any decisions about the future.”
He said he has for some time been “deeply concerned about our country – the growing division at home and our standing in the world.
“One of the things I want to do in my next chapter is to figure out if there is a role I can play in giving back. I’m not exactly sure what that means yet.”
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