Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, was heckled by a protester Monday night as he weighs an 2020 independent bid, which many Democrats argue would hand President Donald Trump a second term.
“What I said last night is that I am seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent,” Schultz said during a book event in New York City, referring to his interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday. “And I wanted to clarify the word ‘independent,’ which I view merely as a designation on the ballot.”
That’s when a protester in the crowd interrupted.
“Don’t help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire a**hole,” the protester yelled. “Go back to getting ratioed on Twitter. Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elites who think they know how to run the world. That’s not what democracy is.”
The protester was drowned out by boos from others in the audience.
“Getting ratioed” on Twitter refers to the amount of replies, typically negative, being more than the likes or retweets of a post.
Several Democrats have voiced concern over a potential Schultz White House bid, arguing that an independent candidate would siphon off votes from the Democratic nominee and result in Trump winning re-election.
Schultz was asked later during Monday’s event, should he decided to run, if he would drop out if his poll numbers were low and it appeared Trump was ahead.
“Nobody wants to see Donald Trump removed from office more than me,” the former Starbucks chief replied, adding later, “I’m certainly not going to do anything to put Donald Trump back in the Oval Office.”
CNN’s Alison Main contributed to this report.