Dem strategist warns against Schultz presidential bid: 'You're going to split the vote'

Democratic strategist Kelly Dietrich on Tuesday warned against an independent presidential run from former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, saying it would give an advantage to Republicans. 

"You're going to split the vote, even if he takes 5 percent from the swing states," Dietrich, founder and CEO of the National Democratic Training Committee, told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball on "Rising."

"We don't need another independent," he continued. "[Michael] Bloomberg looked at this and said it can't be done. Why do we need an independent? Especially someone who has been a lifelong Democrat." 

Schultz revealed on Sunday that he is "seriously considering" a 2020 presidential bid as a "centrist independent." 

“Republicans and Democrats alike — who no longer see themselves as part of the far extreme of the far right and the far left — are looking for a home,” Schultz told The New York Times in an interview. “The word ‘independent,’ for me, is simply a designation on the ballot.”

The former editor-in-chief of Breitbart News London, Raheem Kassam, said on Hill.TV that Schultz is smart to try to represent Americans who feel alienated by the Republican and Democratic parties. 

"I think Howard Schultz has a pretty good idea," Kassam said. "There are people in the middle now in America that don't feel like either side is going to represent them." 

"I think there's got to be somebody, whether it comes from the right or the left, that comes down the middle and says actually I'm going to try and do the middle thing," he said. "And of course I would say that because I really, really, really want the left vote split." 

— Julia Manchester