NewsPublic Affairs / February 7, 2019

No 'Major Announcement' During Howard Schultz's Purdue Speech

Article origination WBAA-AM
Howard Schultz (right) shakes the hand of Purdue Student Government President Aaron Banks. - Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Howard Schultz (right) shakes the hand of Purdue Student Government President Aaron Banks.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Former Starbucks Coffee CEO Howard Schultz, who’s mulling a possible 2020 presidential run, told a crowd at Purdue University Thursday he thinks America’s greatest security threat is its current leader.

What was billed as a “major policy announcement” offered little in the way of solutions to the many problems Schultz enumerated. When asked what would convince Republican voters in Indiana to pull the lever for an independent, Schultz pushed back against the current administration.

“I think the people in Indiana are going to go through a period of time where they’re going to realize that Donald Trump did not fulfill the promises he made to the people in Indiana, and for that matter the rest of the country,” Schultz says.

LISTEN: Howard Schultz's Purdue Speech

Schultz, who says he’s known Purdue President and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels for about a year, took multiple swipes at both parties during a half-hour address, saying the two-party system and gerrymandering of district lines have pushed both voters and candidates to the extremes of the political spectrum.

“Almost two-thirds of American voters agree that a two-party system – our two-party system – is broken," he says. "And it’s time for a centrist candidate, not affiliated with either party, to be president.”

The longtime business executive – also a billionaire like Trump – struggled to get applause from the crowd during his on-stage address, but did manage some by taking another shot at the current Commander in Chief.

“If I choose to run, I promise I will absolutely release my tax returns…you can clap for that…”

Schultz says it’ll be weeks or months before he decides whether to formally enter the 2020 race, which he says he will not do under either the Republican or Democratic Party banners.

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