Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Taking a ‘Detour’ from the Campaign Trail

howard schultz
Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who has been teasing an independent run for the White House, is taking a “detour” from the campaign trail, he announced in a letter Wednesday.

Schultz began teasing a presidential bid early in the year, although he promised to run as a “centrist independent”– not a Democrat.

During a February town hall with CNN, the potential candidate said it was time to “disrupt the two-party system,” describing it as “broken” and “based on revenge politics.”

“I’m here not saying I’m against the Democratic Party,” he explained. “I’m here saying I no longer recognize how far left they’ve gone. I just don’t see myself in the party. And I believe that the majority of Americans feel like I do, the far right and the far left does not represent them, and they’re looking for a home.”

“I also think millions of Republicans, millions of Republicans who do not want to pull the lever for Donald Trump, if they have a better choice versus a far-left Democrat, will come my way,” he added.

Schultz has failed to tow the Democrat party line, particularly in regards to socialism.

Schultz’s intentions caused many Democrats to recoil with concerns that he – running as an independent – would pave the way for yet another Trump victory. Michael Moore even called Trump’s opponents to boycott Starbucks until Schultz backed down.

“I must be doing something right to create so much interest and backlash from the Democratic Party,” Schultz told MSNBC in January. “Some of it is a surprise, but we expected to see some of the level of vitriol but not the extent it’s been.”

Schultz’s absence has been noticeable in the last two months. In a letter Wednesday, he explained the reason for his disappearance. He has been recovering from a number of back surgeries and is taking the summer to rest and recover.

It read in part:

While I was in Arizona, I unfortunately experienced acute back pain that required me to cut my travels short. Over the following two months, I underwent three separate back surgeries. Today, I am feeling much better, and my doctors foresee a full recovery so long as I rest and rehabilitate.

“I take this detour from the road reluctantly,” he continued. “My concern for our country’s future remains, as does my belief that the American people deserve so much more from our elected officials.”

“Civility. Honesty. Real problem solving. My belief in these ideals will never waver,” he added.

Schultz is not closing the door to a potential independent run completely. He wrote that he would be “back in touch” after Labor Day. However, he drastically cut staffers, letting go of everyone minus those in “senior leadership” roles, according to the Huffington Post.

Schultz’s post-labor day decision is strategic. According to Fox Business, he wants to keep an eye on current Democrat frontrunner Joe Biden (D). He reportedly views Biden– who is seen as more “moderate” than others in the field– as his biggest competitor. If someone else overtakes Biden’s frontrunner status, Schultz will be more likely to officially drop into the race, reports indicate.

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