Howard Schultz Makes Strong Case As 2020 Presidential Independent Candidate

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz hasn't declared yet that he will run for president in 2020, but he sure fit the bill during Thursday night's town hall on Fox News. Schultz dove deep into the issues instead of merely scratching the surface. He supports part of the left and part of the right. He also opposes radical ideas from both sides of the political aisle.

He said Democrats and Republicans have radically veered too far left and right, respectively, and that bickering between the two major political parties is at an all-time high.

"I'm 65, and I've never witnessed such a divide," said Schultz, who's consdiering a presidential run as an independent. "Both parties have gone so far extreme in their ideology."

He supports strong border protection and funding for immigration enforcement, and he supports higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy. He wants health care for all, but wants 180 million people to keep their private insurance. He is pro-choice when it comes to abortion, and he doesn't think reparations to descendants of slaves is a correct answer.

Schultz didn't just draw a thin line in the sand between the left and right Thursday night in Kansas City. He made a strong case for a run as an independent, and he may have even hinted he's ready to run.

When asked if he would vote for Joe Biden amid the accusations of the former vice president inappropriately touching women, Schultz said, "No. I'm voting for myself."

Schultz said he has a team that has charted a path to win 270 electoral votes, and somewhat implied he could win Texas, which would be a huge political blow to President Donald Trump.

"There's no question [Trump could lose Texas]," Schultz said. "Given the work I've done, and that my team has done the last 18 months, there's a pathway to 270. I'm not going to say which states we would win."

Schultz stated early in the town hall he wasn't there to bash the president. He said there are some things President Trump "has done right," like fighting for a tougher stance on illegal immigration and a need for more robust border protection.

However, he attacked the president's character and behavior. Schultz asked the audience, "How many of you would like your children to model the behavior of the president?" The crowd mostly sat on their hands at that point.

Schultz said, "We are $22 trillion in debt, we have an immigration problem, we have a K-12 problem and our standing in the world is very questionable."

He said China wasn't an enemy, but a fierce competitor. He said Russia is America's top enemy.

"Russia is an enemy of America, [Russian president Vladimir] Putin is a cold-blooded killer and this president has turned a blind eye to Russia," Schultz said. He added that Russia's meddling in American political activity, elections and computer hacking "is an act of war."

Schultz said he hopes to bring down the cost of health care, the cost of prescriptions, offer universal catastrophic care coverage and let Americans have more medical options through a free market. He opposes eliminating the Affordable Care Act to just eliminate it, but he also opposes the Medicare-for-all option that some Democrats are calling for.

He said a woman's decision for abortion is a "personal decision, and between her and her God." Schultz also said he opposes abortions in the third trimester.

"President Clinton said abortion should be safe, legal and rare, and that's where I am," Schultz said.

Schultz emphasized he wants higher taxes on millionaires and corporations, and that they would also get less. Schultz, a billionaire, said the working class shouldn't shoulder so much tax burden.

Schultz said he fully supports the military and their families, and he also stressed the importance of the VA system that has a $200 billion budget. He said military men and women returning from war zones should get the best care to treat and prevent PTSD.

He said if he decides to run—the decision could come in early summer— then he would release his tax returns within 30 days of his announcement.

Schultz actually said he wants to run for president, but the decision to throw his name in the hat will be because he wants to "solve problems" and "restore trust and confidence in our leadership."

"What we need to do is Americans, is start living our values," Schultz said. "Every problem can be solved if we come together as a nation. I want to find common values to bring families together."

Howard Schultz Makes Strong Case As 2020 Presidential Independent Candidate | U.S.