Howard Schultz says former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s decision to pass on a 2020 White House run is another sign that neither major political party has room for centrists anymore. And he’s using Bloomberg’s news to spotlight his own possible independent bid for president.
Bloomberg announced on Tuesday that he’s passing on launching a presidential campaign. The billionaire media mogul was first elected to City Hall in New York as a Republican before becoming an independent. He returned to the Democratic Party last year and began flirting with a run for the party’s presidential nomination.
Schultz, a fellow billionaire, seemed to once again tout the merits of an independent bid, as he claimed Bloomberg found there was little room for moderate views inside the party tent.
“Mike Bloomberg governed from the center with big ideas, pragmatism and common sense. In an era of paralysis and dysfunction, he’s an exception,” Schultz tweeted. “I've long said there isn't room for centrist moderation in either party and it appears Mr. Bloomberg has come to the same conclusion.”
Schultz, the founder and former chairman and CEO of Starbucks, has hired high-profile veteran political advisers and is traveling the country as he mulls a White House bid. His flirtation with an independent run has infuriated Democrats, who fear it would split the vote and hurt their efforts to oust Republican President Trump from the White House in the 2020 general election.
That’s a view shared by Bloomberg, who also considered running for president in 2016 as an independent before deciding against such a move.
“Number one, you can’t win as an independent because of the Electoral College requiring a majority,” Bloomberg told reporters during a stop in New Hampshire in January, when he was still mulling a White House bid.
“And number two, I think all it would do would be to re-elect Donald Trump,” he emphasized. “At least my obit won’t be ‘he was the one who gave us Donald Trump.’”