Watch: Howard Schultz Heckled at Book Event: 'Don't Help Elect Trump, You Egotistical, Billionaire A**hole'

Howard Schultz's potential run for president as an independent continued to be met by swift backlash Monday night as a heckler interrupted a book event in New York City, angrily telling him not to run for the White House.

The former Starbucks CEO's announcement Sunday that he was weighing a potential bid for the White House in 2020 has been slammed by Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump. Were Schultz to run as an independent, they fear, he would take precious votes away from the Democratic nominee, helping to elect Trump to a second term.

Appearing as part of his book tour at a Barns and Noble in Manhattan, Schultz attempted to explain why he would be running as an independent candidate.

"I am seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent and I wanted to clarify the word independent which I view merely as a designation on the ballot," he said during an interview with CNBC's Andrew Ross.

However before he could finish the thought, a member of the audience had their own message.

"Don't help elect trump you egotistical, billionaire a**hole," shouted the impassioned heckler.

It is far from the first criticism, Schultz, a billionaire with no political experience, has faced since announcing his potential run.

"I have a concern that if he did run, that essentially, it would provide Donald Trump with his best hope of getting re-elected," Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro told CNN on Sunday.

Also weighing in was another billionaire, Michael Bloomberg, who has long floated an independent bid for the White House but has registered as a Democrat ahead of a potential run of his own for 2020.

"Given the strong pull of partisanship and the realities of the electoral college system, there is no way an independent can win," Bloomberg said in a statement Monday. "That is truer today than ever before.

"In fact I faced exactly the same decision now facing others who are considering it," he continued. "In 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the President. That's a risk I refused to run in 2016 and we can't afford to run it now. We must remain united, and we must not allow any candidate to divide or fracture us. The stakes couldn't be higher."

howard schultz, trump, heckler, 2020
Former Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, speaks during the presentation of his book 'From The Ground Up' on January 28, 2019, in New York City. JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images