Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said that he would reconsider a potential independent bid for the White House in 2020 if Democrats tapped a centrist candidate as their presidential nominee.
“I would reassess the situation if the numbers change as a result of a centrist Democrat winning the nomination,” Schultz told The Washington Post on Thursday.
Schultz has irked Democrats in recent weeks with his announcement that he was exploring a potential independent run for the presidency in 2020, with many in the party arguing that such a bid could hurt the party’s chances of ousting President TrumpDonald TrumpFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season Giving thanks for Thanksgiving itself Immigration provision in Democrats' reconciliation bill makes no sense MORE.
Schultz has billed himself as a business-minded centrist who would stand in contrast to an increasingly liberal field of Democratic contenders.
He has already hired aides and advisers for a potential 2020 bid, drawing on a pool of campaign staffers with experience on both sides of the aisle.
Several Democrats who have already declared 2020 campaigns have taken more progressive stances on the issues.
Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden eyes new path for Fed despite Powell pick Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Storms a growing danger for East Coast Senate Democrats call on Biden to push for COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers at WTO MORE (D-Mass.), for example, has lauded a resolution outlining the "Green New Deal" and has proposed an additional tax on the ultra-wealthy.
Another 2020 contender, Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandThis Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Lobbying world Democrats optimistic as social spending bill heads to Senate MORE (D-N.Y.), is among a growing number of Democrats who back a "Medicare for all" plan.
While Schultz told the Post that internal polling shows that he would be competitive in a race against Trump and a progressive Democrat, he could face a narrow path to victory if Democrats nominate a more moderate candidate, like former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenUS lawmakers arrive in Taiwan to meet with local officials Biden meets with Coast Guard on Thanksgiving Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season MORE.
Biden is said to be nearing a decision on a presidential campaign, but has not announced any plans yet.
He is well regarded among many Democrats, who say that he could help the party win over crucial white working-class voters in 2020.