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Ocasio-Cortez on Schultz: Why are billionaires who want to run for president never told to ‘work their way up’?
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday ripped former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz over his possible independent presidential bid, suggesting his lack of political experience pointed to a double standard.
"Why don't people ever tell billionaires who want to run for President that they need to 'work their way up' or that 'maybe they should start with city council first'?" the 29-year-old congresswoman tweeted.
The freshman lawmaker was referencing criticism she received during her House campaign last year that she should have aspired to a more local position before running for federal office.
Schultz, the son of a truck driver who lived in a housing project, became a billionaire from his time at the helm of Starbucks. He has never held political office before, though has flirted with a potential political run in recent years.
The former CEO angered Democrats on Sunday when he announced he was "seriously considering" an independent presidential campaign in 2020, sparking concerns he could siphon off Democratic votes and help President Trump win reelection. Schultz cast his potential bid as a home for moderate voters who feel alienated by both parties.
"It's far two extremes on both sides and the silent majority of America does not have a voice, and that's the voice I want to give," he said Tuesday morning.
He's since sparked feuds with progressives and a few presidential candidates after he criticized some of their policies.
He attacked Ocasio-Cortez's proposal to impose a 70 percent marginal tax rate on income above $10 million, slammed Sen. Kamala Harris's (D-Calif.) plan for "Medicare for all" as "not American" and said Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) plan for a special 2 percent annual tax on Americans whose net worth exceeds $50 billion was "ridiculous."
Some have responded that Schultz is using his wealth to buy his way onto the presidential ticket in 2020 without having to face a primary challenge.