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Outgoing Starbucks Chairman Says He “Can’t Be Nailed Down” On Presidential Bid

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A day after the New York Times published a story speculating that outgoing Starbucks executive chairman and former CEO Howard Schultz might make a bid for the White House in 2020, Schultz appeared on CNBC Tuesday morning to discuss his prospects with Andrew Ross Sorkin.

After acknowledging to the Times that he might be considering a career in politics, Schultz declined to talk about specific next steps with CNBC – though the tone of the interview strongly suggested that he’s at least considering a run.

“I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service,” he said. “But I’m a long way from making any decisions about the future.” Schultz added that he “can’t be nailed down” on a potential run for higher office.

Pressed by Sorkin about his plans, Schultz coyly stated that “there’s a lot I can do as a private citizen” and “let’s just see what happens.”

He added that his departure from Starbucks has been planned for more than a year, before launching into a litany of issues that sounded like the first stirrings of his policy platform. The US needs to rein in the national debt, improve education while offering a defense of free trade.

Schultz criticized President Trump for using the stock market as a barometer of his success, saying “I think it’s very wrong to use the stock market as a proxy for the US economy,” he said, adding that “interest rates are going up” and that the stock market likely won’t “continue to grow at the rate it has between now and 2020.”

Most recently, Schultz was widely praised by the mainstream media for his company’s response to the arrest of two black customers who’d tried to use the bathroom at a Starbucks in Philadelphia. Schultz decided to close all Starbucks stores for a day to allow employees to undergo racial sensitivity training.

Howard Schultz: My departure has been planned for over a year from CNBC.

In each point, Schultz appeared to position himself in opposition to President Trump, and like Hillary Clinton before him, appears to be staking out a center-left position.

Schultz blamed “dysfunction” in the government on Trump’s populist “ideology”.

“I think the issues that we are facing in terms of the dysfunction and polarization that exists within the government is really based on a systematic problem of ideology and I think we need a very different view of how the government and how the country should be run,” Schultz said.

He also touted his push to hire veterans and refugees at Starbucks, as well as the company’s generous tuition assistance and health benefits, which he said “demonstrate the humanity…and the guiding promise of America.”

“It’s been a long time, I think, since anyone within the government has really walked in the shoes of the American people and done the things that would demonstrate the humanity of what is the values of the country and the guiding principle of the promise of America,” Schultz said.

“I think the country is longing for truth, longing for an opportunity in which respect and dignity,” he said. “We have to ask ourselves an important question today what kind of country do we want to live in. We can’t live in a country in which we’re divided. We have to create the kind of value and opportunity for everyone. We can’t do that without reforming and transforming the education system in America.”

Of course, Schultz isn’t the only high-profile CEO toying with a presidential bid. As the NYT pointed out yesterday, Mark Cuban and Disney CEO Bob Iger are also rumored to be considering presidential bids of their own.


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