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29 Jan, 2019 15:52

‘Don’t help elect Trump, a**hole!’ Independent Howard Schultz heckled at bookstore event

‘Don’t help elect Trump, a**hole!’ Independent Howard Schultz heckled at bookstore event

Starbucks founder Howard Schultz’s presidential campaign is off to a rough start. Accused by Democrats of drawing away votes against Trump, the billionaire independent was heckled and jeered at his first public appearance.

Schultz announced that he is “seriously considering” a run at the presidency on Sunday. While the Starbucks founder has been a lifelong Democrat, he told CBS’ ‘60 Minutes’ that he would run as a “centrist independent.”

The announcement was ridiculed by President Trump, who tweeted that Schultz “doesn’t have the ‘guts’ to run for president,” but also by Democrats. Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg – also rumored to be considering a 2020 run as a Democrat – jabbed at Schultz, saying an independent challenger would “just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the president.”

Schultz’s first campaign appearance of sorts didn’t go much better. One audience member heckled the billionaire contender at a Manhattan bookstore on Monday night.

“Don’t help elect Trump, you egotistical, billionaire a**hole,” the disgruntled Democrat shouted.

“Go back to getting ratio-ed on Twitter,” he continued. “Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elite who think they know how to run the world.” ‘Getting ratio-ed on Twitter’ refers to a belief among the Twitterati that if the ratio of replies to retweets is more than 2:1, the tweet has generated too much negative reaction.

While the crowd booed the heckler, they also cheered when host Andrew Ross Sorkin read aloud Bloomberg’s statement calling on Schultz to quit, and again when he pressed Schultz on his opposition to universal healthcare.

Schultz has called ideas like universal healthcare and free college tuition financially unviable, and criticized the Democratic party’s recent embrace of them as “un-American.”

The left disagrees. Since his announcement, Schultz has been pilloried on social media, and anti-Trump types in the #Resistance have boycotted Starbucks. The boycott call has been championed by the Center for American Progress, a think tank founded by Clinton confidant John Podesta.

“I will start a Starbucks boycott because I’m not giving a penny that will end up in the election coffers of a guy who will help Trump win,” CAP’s president Neera Tanden tweeted.

After the bookstore heckling, the mockery continued to flow on Twitter.

Still, Schultz seems to be serious about 2020. The former coffee-chain CEO has reportedly hired ex-Obama aide Bill Burton as his communications adviser, adding to a PR team that includes Steve Schmidt, who managed the late John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008.

While America has never elected a third-party candidate as president, businessman Ross Perot captured 18 percent of the popular vote in 1992. Perot’s showing was the strongest result for a non-party independent in history, and he was accused by Republicans of siphoning votes away from incumbent George H.W. Bush, and facilitating Bill Clinton’s victory.

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