Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said Wednesday night he deleted a tweet promoting a column that included denigrating references to two Democratic senators because he doesn’t “want to get into the mud with anybody.”
Schultz, who is weighing an independent centrist bid for president, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper he was unaware the column on PJMedia.com called Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts “Fauxcahontas” – a reference to her claim of Native American heritage – and Sen. Kamala Harris of California a “shrill … quasi-socialist.”
Asked on “Anderson Cooper 360” why he deleted the tweet, Schultz said it was “because I don’t want to get into the mud with anybody.”
“I don’t want to get into revenge politics, which has been obviously been the problem that I’m identifying,” he said. “I don’t want to be part of mudslinging. I want to speak aspirationally and positively and do everything I can to elevate the national conversation. That is what’s necessary.”
A Schultz aide told CNN that someone else had tweeted for him and didn’t fully vet the piece.
Schultz’s tweet Wednesday morning had thanked the column’s author for a “thoughtful analysis of what’s possible” as it argued the former CEO could win the White House.
The tweet, however, disappeared from Schultz’s Twitter feed after a Washington Post reporter asked about it, the newspaper reported.
Schultz is considering an independent centrist bid for the White House, which has upset Democrats who feel Schultz would steal votes away from the Democratic nominee and result in President Donald Trump’s re-election.
Schultz, however, told CNN that’s a “false narrative” and “nobody wants to see President Trump fired and out of office more than me.” He feels that if the election were between Trump and a left-leaning Democrat, like Warren or Harris, Trump would win.
He has also criticized Warren and Harris for their progressive policies like “Medicare-for-all” and hiking taxes on the wealthy.
CNN’s Cristina Alesci contributed to this report.