Inslee: 'Enormous mistake' for Schultz to make 2020 bid as independent

Inslee: 'Enormous mistake' for Schultz to make 2020 bid as independent
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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Monday said he has discouraged former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz from launching an independent presidential bid in 2020.

"I feel it would be an enormous mistake by Howard," Inslee, who is mulling a 2020 bid himself, said in an appearance on CNN's "New Day."

"He has had a successful legacy as a businessperson, and it would be tarnished beyond imagination if he does the only thing that his candidacy would do would be to help the reelection of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE," Inslee added.

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The governor pushed back against the suggestion that Schultz might not hurt a Democratic candidate, and could pull votes from Trump given his more conservative views on abortion, "Medicare for all" and government spending. 

"Virtually every Democrat alive who can count votes” believes Schultz's candidacy would help Trump, the governor said.

"This would be a disastrous event," he added. "I have strongly suggested to Howard to keep your legacy intact as a businessperson who’s done some decent things, and not engage in this ruinous project which only has one potential outcome."

Schultz, who served as Starbucks's CEO from 1986-2000 and again from 2008-2017, said late last month that he's "seriously thinking of running for president" as a "centrist independent."

Schultz told The New York Times he will make his final decision on a campaign after a three-month book tour. His announcement has drawn criticism from Democrats who have voiced concerns that he would pull votes away from the party's nominee in 2020 and boost Trump's reelection chances.

A number of Democrats have already entered the 2020 race or announced exploratory committees, including Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden VP race is highly fluid days before expected pick Harris, Ocasio-Cortez push climate equity bill with Green New Deal roots Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden VP race is highly fluid days before expected pick Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package MORE (D-Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Progressives soaring after big primary night MORE (D-N.Y.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package Ex-USAID employee apologizes, denies sending explosive tweets MORE (D-N.J.).

The field is expected to grow larger and more progressive heavyweights, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Biden clarifies comments comparing African American and Latino communities Kanye West may have missed deadline to get on Wisconsin ballot by minutes: report MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure Sanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic MORE (I-Vt.), are said to be mulling White House bids.