Howard Schultz Defends Possible Candidacy at SXSW, Says Trump Will Win if Dems Run on ‘Extreme’ Positions
Howard Schultz has not yet committed to an independent presidential bid, but he spoke at SXSW today with NBC News’ Dylan Byers and called it a “false narrative” that he would be a spoiler in the race.
As he criticized President Donald Trump, Schultz also said he’s troubled by how “extreme” the Democrats are becoming and thinks they might help Trump win:
“For us to start moving towards a level of socialism is such an extreme position and something that I think is inconsistent with the values and the heritage and the tradition of the country––and that is what Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others are proposing, to try and defeat Donald Trump with a far-extreme proposal. If Donald Trump runs against one of those types of candidates, it’s my belief Donald Trump will be re-elected.”
At one point he said lifelong Republicans don’t want to re-elect Trump but will if their choice is between POTUS and a candidate like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris.
Schultz blasted socialism several times during the event, and when he said “look at Venezuela,” per several reporters, he didn’t get the best reaction:
Q: Can you define socialism?
A: If you want a good description of socialism, just look at Venezuela.
After some people boo, Schultz says "you don't like that?" and pivots back to praising capitalism. "Does it need to be refined? Yes."
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) March 9, 2019
"A German" asks Howard Schultz to define "socialism."
He says Venezuela. Crowd groans. "You don't like that?"
Then he talks about how good capitalism is and how socialism is out of step with American history but never gets around to defining it.
— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) March 9, 2019
You can watch above (the relevant part starts around the 3-minute mark), via NBC.
[image via screengrab]
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