Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on Sunday said that he is "seriously considering" a 2020 presidential bid as a "centrist independent."
"I love our country, and I am seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent," Schultz tweeted after making his Twitter debut earlier on Sunday.
"This moment is like no other," Schultz wrote, linking to his website. "Our two parties are more divided than ever. Let’s discuss how we can come together to create opportunities for more people. #ReimagineUS."
Schultz in an interview with The New York Times published Sunday confirmed that he is preparing a bid. He said he will make his final decision after a three-month book tour starting soon.
“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 Times. “The word ‘independent,’ for me, is simply a designation on the ballot.”
Schultz during the interview responded to Democratic critics who say an independent bid could hand the presidency to Trump. Schultz insisted he is not considering entering the race to be a "spoiler."
“I am certainly prepared for the cynics and the naysayers to come out and say this cannot be done,” Schultz said, addressing the criticism from multiple high-profile Democrats. “I don’t agree with them. I think it’s un-American to say it can’t be done."
Schultz said that he does not want to run as a Democrat because it would force him to be "disingenuous."
“I feel if I ran as a Democrat I would have to be disingenuous and say things that I don’t believe because the party has shifted so far to the left," the billionaire told the Times.
“When I hear people espousing free government-paid college, free government-paid health care and a free government job for everyone — on top of a $21 trillion debt — the question is, how are we paying for all this and not bankrupting the country?” he added.
Schultz's net worth is an estimated $3.4 billion.
He told the Times that he is more likely to jump into the race if a left-wing progressive candidate emerges as a front-runner, rather than one of the more moderate potential candidates.