Schultz apologizes to Dem candidates for military comments

Schultz apologizes to Dem candidates for military comments
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Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz apologized Thursday after remarking that he had spent more time with the military than any declared presidential candidate.

Schultz directed his apology to Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardBiden: All-white debate not representative of party, but 'you can't dictate' nominee Delaney to DNC: Open second debate stage for candidates who qualified for past events The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats worry about diversity on next debate stage MORE (D-Hawaii) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), who have both served in the military and are now running for president.

"Yesterday I gave a speech on failed political leadership in this country. A point I tried to make is that leaders must take responsibility and own their mistakes. Today I said I spent more time with the military than any candidate running for president. That was wrong," Schultz tweeted.

"I apologize to @PeteButtigieg and @TulsiGabbard who served our country honorably. In that moment I made something that should unite us all, about me. I made a mistake and I apologize," he added.

Schultz, who has said he is considering an independent White House bid, made the initial remark during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday. During the interview, Hewitt asked Schultz if he considered himself qualified to run the military.

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"Yes, I do. I probably have spent more time in the last decade certainly than anyone running for president with the military," Schultz responded, adding that he has been to Okinawa and Kuwait and has spent time with the Marines and the Army.

Buttigieg, who served in the Navy before becoming mayor in Indiana, knocked the former Starbucks CEO on Twitter for the comments, remarking that he couldn't "recall seeing any Starbucks" during his time serving in Afghanistan.

"I remember a Green Beans Coffee at the exchange at Bagram, and a decent espresso machine run by the Italian NATO element at ISAF HQ. But I don’t recall seeing any Starbucks over there...," he tweeted.

In addition to Buttigieg, Gabbard also has served in the military. She was previously deployed with the Hawaii Army National Guard to Iraq and continues to serve in the Army National Guard.