Former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, was heckled about his potential 2020 presidential run at a book tour event Monday in New York City.
“Don’t help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire a–hole,” the protester shouted at Schultz.
“Go back to getting ratioed on Twitter,” the protester added, appearing to cite Schultz’s tweets that often receive more negative attention than positive.
“Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elite who think they know how to run the world. That’s not what democracy needs.”
Schultz, who is worth $3.4 billion according to Forbes, is toying with the idea of running for president as an Independent candidate, a move that has some Democrats concerned could split the party’s supporters for 2020.
On Sunday evening, Schultz tweeted, “I love our country, and I am seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent.”
I love our country, and I am seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent.
— Howard Schultz (@HowardSchultz) January 28, 2019
The former Starbucks CEO was speaking with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin at the Union Square Barnes and Noble when he was interrupted by the protester, NBC News reported.
Schultz told Sorkin that the criticism didn’t surprise him, but he had also received some unexpected support.
“I’m not running a primary race on Twitter,” he said. “But I expected that there would be a lot of anger and hate.” Schultz added that he “didn’t read much of it.”
In a recent NPR interview, Schultz said it “would kill me to see” Trump re-elected, and he feels it could happen if “a progressive, liberal-minded person on the Democratic side” wins the primary.
Schultz said in the interview that he believes a Democratic nominee would be “too far to the left” to win.
The billionaire also said he felt it would be “disingenuous” of him to run as a Democrat and convey views that are not his in order to get the nomination, which he said, “some might do.”
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told @nprinskeep he believes the Democrats will be too far left to win against President Trump in 2020.
Full interview tomorrow on Morning Edition. pic.twitter.com/CBhPviE7uj
— Morning Edition (@MorningEdition) January 28, 2019
The prospect of Schultz contending for the White House in 2020 is what commentators have referred to as a possible “battle of the billionaires,” considering that President Donald Trump has made his intentions about re-election well known.
The president weighed in on Schultz’s recent interview on Twitter and said he didn’t think Schultz had the “guts” to run for president.
Howard Schultz doesn’t have the “guts” to run for President! Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the “smartest person.” Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2019
“Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the ‘smartest person.’ Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!”
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