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Who: Howard Schultz, a 65-year-old billionaire businessman and former CEO of Starbucks
What: The coffee chain mogul announced that he is weighing whether to run as a “centrist independent” in the 2020 presidential election during an interview with CBS News’ “ 60 Minutes” – a move that has the potential to seriously alter the balance of the race.
Schultz is a self-proclaimed lifelong Democrat who publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016. His announcement has caused some concern for the Democratic Party, which fears a Schultz candidacy could split the electorate and pave the way for President Trump’s reelection. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who ran in the 2004 Democratic primary, told Yahoo News that Schultz is “going to get, by my calculations, between 6 and 14 percent of the vote, and he’ll get zero electoral votes and he’ll give the possibility of swinging the race to Trump.”
Schultz again teased a 2020 run at the launch of his book tour in Manhattan, where a heckler was escorted off the premises for yelling: “Don’t help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire,” before calling Schultz an expletive. The heckler added that Schultz should “go back to Davos with the other billionaire elite who think they know how to run the world.”
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