Potential 2020 Independent presidential candidate Howard Schultz, the billionaire businessman who helped Starbucks transform from a small-time coffee shop into a multinational behemoth, believes he’d do a better job running the country than President Donald Trump.
Note his reaction on Tuesday when, during a CNN-hosted town hall event, a member of the audience asked him to differentiate himself from Trump.
“Mr. Schultz, you’re coming into the 2020 presidential race not having any prior political experience but solely as a successful businessman,” the audience member said. “That was what Donald Trump ran on as his advantage over other seasoned politicians who were his opponents.”
“How do you differ from him in this regard? Do you think your good business sense qualifies you to do a better job than he? If yes, how so?”
Listen to his response below:
“I’m not coming into this thinking about comparing myself to Donald Trump,” he replied. “I think his record and what he has accomplished within the Oval Office speaks for itself. I’m here today and speaking publicly about thinking about running for president because of my concern for the American people. And my love of the country. I think we can be doing so much better than we are.”
“I think we look at the country today, it’s very fragile, our standing in the world, and what I think what’s missing right now is a deep sense of leadership that the more than people are longing for and deserve, a sense of character, a sense of morality, a level of civility,” Schultz continued.
Thanks to Trump’s leadership on the international stage, members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are finally paying more of their fair share, and both Canada and Mexico signed a significantly fairer trade deal to replace the widely panned North American Free Trade Agreement.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 3, 2018
“My business experience is not qualifications to run for president, but it is what I’ve learned along the way,” Schultz added. “And if you look at Starbucks, what I’ve done in the last 36 years … we’ve provided comprehensive health insurance for every employee, ownership for every employee, free college tuition for every employee. And we did that because of trying to build a different kind of company of balancing profit with responsibility.”
“And I think that is a model for trying to do things in America that has not been done before. And that is to create the kind of spirit and the kind of confidence that the American people are looking for in leaders that they do not have today.”
His “model” reeks of socialism, a failed ideology that’s been tested numerous times throughout world history, including most recently in the failed nation of Venezuela, where even educated women have had to resort to prostitution to make ends meet and feed their families:
The irony is that it’s the exact opposite of socialism that allowed Schultz to become a billionaire. He doesn’t appear to be aware of this, as evidenced by what he said next.
When asked by host Poppy Harlow to describe his exact qualifications for being president, he said, “I think my qualifications is my life experience. I grew up in public housing in Brooklyn, New York, in the projects. When I was 7 years old, my father came home from work, injured on the job, lost his health insurance, lost workman’s compensation, and we were destitute as a family.”
“I lived through the shame and the understanding of what it means to be in fear of no health insurance and no money. I took that experience and it provided me a lens of how I would see the world and how I would try to build my company. What we’re really talking about today is the fact that the country has lost a sense of leadership in both parties, lost a sense of understanding about the values and the conscience of the country.”
It doesn’t dawn on him that perhaps seeing his father struggle instilled in him the very purpose and work ethic that ultimately led to him becoming a billionaire. Would he have worked as hard if he’d been handed everything on a silver platter? Would he have achieved a modicum of his current success had his childhood been a cakewalk? While there’s no surefire answer to these answers, Trump would likely answer them with a “no.”
And therein lies the key difference between Trump and Schultz: The president is a staunch believer in capitalism, whereas Schultz is a man who’s benefited greatly from capitalism but who clearly believes capitalism isn’t enough — that something more is needed. Not outright socialism, of course, as that’d hurt his bottom line, but something better than the current system. Think more regulations, more giveaways and certainly more taxes.
Except according to Trump, capitalism is the best system because it guarantees every single person “a chance to succeed,” as he noted in a tweet seven years ago.
“Capitalism doesn’t guarantee success, only a chance to succeed. The community organizer @BarackObama doesn’t understand the marketplace and how it works,” he wrote.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 23, 2012