Hirono: 'I think Schultz should run as a Democrat'

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoLiberal commentator: Trump's warning that supporters could play tough is a 'violent dog whistle' Hirono calls out Trump for 'appalling' comments she says encourage violence Overnight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget MORE (D-Hawaii) said Friday that she believes former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz should run as a Democrat if he chooses to pursue a 2020 presidential bid.

“I welcome everybody, in fact I think Schultz should run as a Democrat,” Hirono said on CNN's "New Day."

“If his ideas are all that great he should be able to articulate them as a Democrat."

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Schultz announced Sunday that he is considering a 2020 White House bid as an independent.

Since then he has received significant criticism from Democrats who fear he may siphon votes off from their nominee if he runs as a third-party candidate.

During her interview Hirono declined to endorse any one candidate for the Democratic nomination.

When host John Berman pressed her about any preference she might have, Hirono said “I would be delighted if we nominated a woman.”

So far several of Hirono's colleagues in the Senate have declared bids or are considering running, including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail O'Rourke not planning, but not ruling out big fundraisers MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail O'Rourke not planning, but not ruling out big fundraisers MORE (D-Calif.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandNew York Rep. Maloney endorses Gillibrand for president Actress Connie Britton endorses former roommate Gillibrand for president Trump singles out local union boss over GM's decision to shutter Ohio plant MORE (D-N.Y.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail O'Rourke not planning, but not ruling out big fundraisers MORE (D-N.J.).