New York, Jan 28 (IANS) Former Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz has said he was preparing to launch an independent campaign for the 2020 US Presidential race, the media reported.
“I am seriously thinking of running for President… I will run as a centrist independent outside the two-party system,” The Washington Post quoted Schultz, a self-described Democrat, as saying in a TV interview on Sunday.
“We’re living at a most fragile time,” the 65-year-old said.
“Not only the fact that this president is not qualified to be the president, but the fact that both parties are consistently not doing what’s necessary on behalf of the American people and are engaged, every single day, in revenge politics.”
In the interview, Schultz said he favoured a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and rejoining the Paris climate accords, and he criticized the Democratic promise of “free health care” for all as unrealistic.
Democrats fear a credible third-party candidacy could allow Trump to win states he otherwise would have lost or push a decision on the election to the US House, where Republicans currently have an advantage in the number of state delegations they control.
“If this is about principles and not ego, Schultz would help Democrats defeat Trump or run as a Democrat and broaden the debate within the party,” said Centre for American Progress President Neera Tanden, the Indian American former adviser to both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in their 2008 campaigns.
“Every value he claims to hold dear is undermined by a Trump re-election,” she told The Washington Post.
Under to the US Constitution, if no single candidate receives a majority of the electoral college votes, which are awarded on a state-by-state basis, the election is decided by the House, with each state delegation receiving a single vote.
In the current Congress, Republicans have more representatives in 26 of the 50 state delegations.