Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg warned against third-party candidates who could split the anti-Trump vote and end up helping to re-elect the president after former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced he is considering an independent presidential run.
Bloomberg, a billionaire who has toyed with the idea of mounting his own third-party run in the past, issued a statement warning that a third-party candidate could not win a presidential election and would only help to keep the current administration in power.
“I have never been a partisan guy -- and it’s no secret that I look at an independent bid in the past,” Bloomberg said. “The data was very clear and very consistent. Given the strong pull of partisanship and the realities of the electoral college system, there is no way an independent can win. That is truer today than ever before.”
“In 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the President,” he continued. “That’s a risk I refused to run in 2016 and we can’t afford to run it now.”
Schultz heckled at event:
Schultz’s presidential aspirations have not gotten off to a friendly start. During a launch event for his nationwide book tour in New York Monday, he was heckled by a man who shared Bloomberg’s concerns in more colorful language.
“Don’t help elect Trump you egotistical billionaire asshole," the man shouted at Schultz. "Go back to getting ratioed on Twitter. Go back to Davos with the other Billionaire elite who think they know how to run the world."
Even Trump thinks Schultz will help him:
At a fundraiser at his Trump International Hotel in DC Monday, the president told the crowd that his tweet about Schultz was an attempt to goad him into the race. Trump reportedly told the crowd that Schultz would help his re-election prospects.
“Schultz doesn’t have the ‘guts’ to run for President,” Trump tweeted. “I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower.”