Howard Schultz: ‘Perhaps’ I Will Run for Public Office

CHONGQING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 16: (CHINA OUT) Howard Schultz, president of the US Starbucks coffee chain, drinks a cup of coffee in the first Starbucks store on February 16, 2006 in Chongqing Municipality, China. Starbucks is taking the plunge into the Chongqing market. The Chinese coffee market is expected to …
China Photos/Getty Images

Howard Schultz told CBS News in his final interview as chairman of Starbucks that his future “perhaps,” will include a run for public office.

“I’m thinking about a lot of things. I said publicly that perhaps one of them will be public office, but there’s a lot of things I could do, perhaps to help the American people and help people who are not being served by this administration by not running for president,” the outgoing coffee executive told CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell. “We’ll have to see.”

Asked whether Wednesday’s anonymous New York Times opinion-editorial, allegedly authored by a “senior White House official,” subverting President Donald Trump’s America First agenda, represents a turning point for the administration, Schultz suggested Americans are yearning for a leader guided by globalist orthodoxy.

“I think the American people are somewhat exhausted by some of the things that have happened over the last year and a half. And I think people are longing not only in the U.S. but around the world. I’m in Italy and I think it is a worldwide desire for truth, for civility, for decency, and I think the world is hungry for the idealism of America and America’s standing in the world,” he said. “And as citizens, not only as politicians, as citizens and as parents, this is not a time for any of us to be a bystander, to be indifferent, but to make a difference and to be heard. I’ve got great aspirations for what I can do in the future to try and help those people who are being left behind unfortunately in the United States of America.”
Schultz, although somewhat coy about criticizing President Trump during his interview with CBS, attacked the administration over the summer regarding its approach to trade.

In his first sit-down interview since announcing in June his plans to leave Starbucks, Schultz told CNBC Squawk Box that he was bewildered by President Trump’s approach to remedying China’s decades-long unfair trade practices,

“Going back to China and trade… this rhetoric about all these trade wars that are now being engaged with China, with Mexico, with Canada… this might sound like a trite line, but it’s important. We should not be in the business of building walls, we should be in the business of building bridges,” Schultz told host Andrew Ross Sorkin.

“We are in a trade battle here that I do not understand. Our problem is not China. Our problem is here in the US we have $21 trillion in debt,” he added.

In a memo to employees announcing his retirement, Schultz wrote that the next phase of his career will be spent “thinking about a range of options for myself, from philanthropy to public service.”

The self-described “life-long Democrat,” is doing more than tease his presidential ambitions in interviews, Schultz quietly attended a private gathering of political donors organized by Republican Utah Senate candidate Mitt Romey in July.

According to Politico, Starbucks executive and Wall Street insiders are “wary,” and “nervous,” about Schultz possible run for the highest office in the land. The negative impact of a “Democratic bid by its chairman emeritus could have on Starbucks’ business, given its bipartisan customer base,” the report says.

Former Starbucks president Howard Behar suggests Schultz may lack the preparedness required to run for president. “You’re putting a lot at risk. You’re putting your peace of mind at risk. You better really understand what you’re getting into. I’ve said that to him,” Behar said of Schultz.

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