The Atlantic

Howard Schultz Is Already Helping President Trump

The former CEO has staked out a platform few Republican-leaning voters would endorse.
Source: Michael Conroy / AP

After this week’s CNN town hall, it’s more and more clear that any money Howard Schultz might spend on an independent presidential bid would function as an in-kind campaign contribution to Donald Trump.

Schultz offered few policy specifics during the hour-long session Tuesday night and repeatedly retreated to platitudes when pressed to clarify his position on core issues, including taxes and health care. But to the extent that Schultz did explain his views, they stamped him as a moderate Democrat, tilting toward the party’s center on economics while firmly identifying with its solidifying liberal lean on social and racial issues.

It’s hard to imagine that the mix of perspectives Schultz presented—from opposition to a border wall to support for new limits on gun ownership—will ultimately attract many voters drawn to Trump’s hard-edged racial nationalism. That means that if Schultz runs and his views become better known, he’s likely to draw mostly from the pool of voters discontented with

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