Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz warned at SXSW that Donald Trump might win again if he competes with a progressive candidate like Bernie Sanders

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz warned at SXSW that Donald Trump might win again if he competes with a progressive candidate like Bernie Sanders


Howard Schultz
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019.e s

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

  • Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says that Donald Trump might win again if he runs against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, or Bernie Sanders.
  • That’s because “the vast majority of Americans are not going to embrace socialism,” he said during a keynote presentation at SXSW on Saturday.
  • He added that it appears to him that the Democratic Party has decided that the way to beat Donald Trump is socialism.

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz warned that the chances of Donald Trump getting re-elected were very real.

That could be a possibility if he ended up running against someone like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, “or one of those types” on the Democratic side, he said.

“The vast majority of Americans are not going to embrace socialism,” he said during a keynote presentation at SXSW on Saturday, adding that it appeared to him that the Democratic Party had decided that the way to beat Donald Trump was socialism.

“I have a right to disagree with what they’re [The Democrats] proposing,” he said. “A free enterprise system is core to our democracy” and to start moving toward socialism is against that principle.

Shultz added that the “litmus test” of the fact that the Democrats had veered too far in the direction of socialism was the fact that even former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was considering running as an independent.

Schultz also slammed the critics questioning his move to run for President, saying that he wasn’t going to let the “pundits” and “cynics” tell him what’s possible and what’s not.

“How many entrepreneurs in this room have been told your dream isn’t going to come true?” he asked, prompting a round of applause from the audience. He said that while building Starbucks into a successful business may not a proxy for running the country, it was a proxy for the leadership that he would bring to the table.

When asked to define socialism by a member of the audience, he said “Just look at Venezuela.”

“We don’t want a government takeover of our lives, we want the freedom to pursue happiness in America,” he said.

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