Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on Friday in a letter to supporters announced that he is no longer considering a 2020 presidential bid.
Schultz, who first announced he was considering running as a “centrist” independent in January, wrote in the letter Friday that “an independent campaign for the White House is not how I can best serve our country at this time.”
When he announced he was exploring a bid for the Oval Office earlier this year, Schultz said that his “intention was to represent millions of Americans who want to see problem solving, accountability, compassion and decency in our federal government.”
“I was fueled by a love of country, a profound concern for people’s well-being, and optimism about our nation’s potential to live up to its ideals,” he wrote.
“In our own communities, we don’t have to look far to see proof that empathy, respect, civility and a collaborative spirit run deep,” he continued. “But not in Washington, D.C., where Democrats and Republicans have consistently put party over country, perpetuated divisiveness and gridlock, and failed to solve big problems and enact solutions on which a majority of people in both parties already agree.”
However, he went on to write that “not enough people today are willing to consider backing an independent candidate because they fear doing so might lead to re-electing a uniquely dangerous incumbent president.”
“There is considerable concern that four more years of a Trump administration pose a graver threat to our democracy than four more years of political dysfunction,” he wrote. “I agree, but I’m also concerned that far-left policy ideas being advanced by several Democratic candidates will further alienate voters who believe those ideas will inflict more economic harm than good.”
“It has become more likely that the Democratic nominee will not be known before the deadlines to submit the required number of signatures for an independent to get on the ballot,” he continued. “If I went forward, there is a risk that my name would appear on ballots even if a moderate Democrat wins the nomination, and that is not a risk I am willing to take.”
He also blamed a recent back injury he suffered earlier this year that led to him taking the summer off from traveling to gauge interest among voters across the country to recover instead.
He wrote that “a back injury in April and three subsequent surgeries have required a level of recovery that has prevented me from continuing my travels and engaging with people to the degree that is necessary.”
However, the multibillionaire wrote that the money he was “prepared to commit to a presidential campaign will instead be used to invest in people, organizations and ideas that promote honesty, civility and results in our politics, and that move the country beyond two-party gridlock.”
“Common-sense policies and initiatives that can help address widening inequality at home, while strengthening America’s standing in the world, will be a priority,” he added. “Among my early efforts will be to advocate for increased national service opportunities for young people.”
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