NEW YORK: Some of the most influential forces in Democratic politics revolted on Monday against former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s prospective presidential bid, insisting that an independent run would unintentionally help President Donald Trump win another four years in office.
The critics included the Democratic chairman of Schultz’s home state, another billionaire businessman who long flirted with an independent run of his own, former President Barack Obama’s chief strategist, and the most powerful super PAC in Democratic politics.
“If Schultz entered the race as an independent, we would consider him a target. … We would do everything we can to ensure that his candidacy is unsuccessful,” said Patrick McHugh, executive director of Priorities USA, which spent nearly $200 million in the 2016 presidential contest.
Specifically, he seized on Schultz’s apparent willingness to cut entitlement programmes such as Medicare and Social Security to narrow the federal deficit.
“The bottom line,” McHugh said, “is that I don’t think Americans are looking for another selfish billionaire to enter the race.” The intense pushback in the early days of the 2020 campaign reflects the passion Democrats are bringing to the race to deny Trump a second term. Rank-and-file voters and party officials alike are anxious about any hurdle that would prevent them from seizing on Trump’s unpopularity