Starbucks ex-CEO Howard Schultz endorses Biden after considering presidential bid, says democracy is at 'risk'
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on Monday, September 14, officially endorsed Democratic candidate Joe Biden for the president, saying his own candidature could have aided President Donald Trump to get re-elected. The 67-year-old Schultz had briefly considered running for the president as an Independent but later changed his decision to back Biden so that the anti-establishment votes didn’t get split.
"In my view, our choice this November is not just for one candidate over another," Schultz wrote in a letter to supporters, Fox Business reported. "We are choosing to vote for the future of our republic. What is at risk is democracy itself: Checks and balances. Rigorous debate. A free press. An acceptance of facts, not 'alternate facts.' Belief in science. Trust in the rule of law. A strong judicial system. Unity in preserving all of our rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” he added.
Schultz supporting 'nonpartisan initiatives'
Schultz also spoke on Trump’s dislike for the mail-in balloting. He said that it is essential that the people of America turn out to vote and they vote safely, be it by mail or in-person and that every vote is counted. He also cautioned saying that it would be a “grave miscalculation” to think that the November election is secured for a Biden win. Schultz, who had more than one stint with Starbucks and finally stepped down in 2018, said he is “supporting nonpartisan initiatives to defend the legitimacy of our elections and ensure that the winner is not declared in the presidential contest until all votes are tallied.”
Schultz, whose estimated worth is more than $4 billion, considered his White House run at the beginning of 2019 and also roped in political advisers like Steve Schmidt and Bill Burton. The move was criticized by the Democrats. Schultz also participated in a prime time Fox News town hall in April last year but five months later, he decided against proceeding, saying at the time that he didn't want to spoil the Democrats’ plan. He was reportedly planning to spend $100 million on his own potential presidential campaign.
In his letter to the supporters, Schultz also spoke about two of his companies that he and his wife Sheri are using to “help to build a more moral, more decent America,” the Fox report added. The groups are the Schultz Family Foundation, which backs philanthropic initiatives, and the Emes Project LLC, which works on public-private partnerships.
The ‘Coffee King’ in the past has praised Biden though as per the filing with the Federal Elections Committee, he has not joined the billionaire donors to the Democrat’s campaign, according to a report in Forbes. In 2018, before he explored a plan to run for the presidency, Schultz also said that he believed the Democratic Party was moving far to the Left.
Other billionaires who ran for this year’s presidency briefly -- like Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer -- endorsed Biden soon after they quit the race and made big donations to the former veep’s campaign. Schultz, who endorsed the Democratic candidate with less than two months to go for the election day, has followed a different path so far.