Schultz says he would reconsider 2020 bid if Dems nominate a centrist candidate

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.

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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 John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment 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 Ann WarrenBiden: 'I'm more of a Democrat from my shoe sole to my ears' than anyone else running Press: Another billionaire need not apply Saagar Enjeti dismisses Warren, Klobuchar claims of sexism 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 GillibrandSenate panel clears controversial Trump court pick Advocates step up efforts for horse racing reform bill after more deaths Harris proposes keeping schools open for 10 hours a day 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 BidenFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment Biden: 'I'm more of a Democrat from my shoe sole to my ears' than anyone else running 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.