With the midterm elections squarely in the rearview mirror, the 2020 presidential election is only getting closer. Surprise candidate and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz stepped towards throwing his hat in the ring this past week with an abrupt announcement he was considering running for president as an independent — and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is among those who’ve already had enough.
She criticized the potential presidential candidate in a public statement shared via Twitter this Wednesday, asking:
‘Why don’t people ever tell billionaires who want to run for president that they need to ‘work their way up’ or that ‘maybe they should start with city council first’?’
Why don’t people ever tell billionaires who want to run for President that they need to “work their way up” or that “maybe they should start with city council first”? https://t.co/3d8Nenrvl5
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 30, 2019
The criticism she notes is often absent from discussions of rich white guys who want to run for president is reminiscent of criticism she faced during her own recent rise, in which she successfully toppled incumbent high profile Democrat Joseph Crowley and has since become somewhat an icon of the rise of progressive policies.
She’s not at all just referencing her own troubles, however, offering her counter to Schultz as he defines his nascent presidential candidacy with controversially centrist policy proposals that even calling “centrist” might be giving too much space to.
He’s lambasted an idea Ocasio-Cortez floated to tax the super rich’s income at rates as high as 70 percent, and he’s also attacked presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) plan to tax super rich Americans’ assets. Meanwhile, the federal government continues down a path of financial struggle thanks to the Trump administration delivering massive tax cuts for corporations across America, which sent corporate tax receipts to a low not seen in decades while the deficit and debt continue to explode.
In other words, Ocasio-Cortez’s and Warren’s plans address a very real issue, and they’d only even affect a tiny portion of the American population — yet, Schultz has issues with them to the point of Ocasio-Cortez asking why he’s even being budgeted the time of day in the national political conversation to begin with.
He’s even attacked presidential candidate and Senator Kamala Harris’s plan to enact “Medicate-for-all” as supposedly un-American, putting him squarely at odds with the vast majority of those outside the Republican Party and concerned with the future of the United States.
Some have suggested if he takes his idea for a presidential candidacy further, he could siphon moderate votes away from the eventual Democratic nominee because at least he won’t be Donald Trump.
Trump, for his part, seemed to implicitly “dare” Schultz to run for president the other day, proclaiming:
‘Howard Schultz doesn’t have the “guts” to run for President!.. I agree with him that he is not the “smartest person.” Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!’
Trump has long expressed confidence in his re-election chances, and soon, that confidence will be put to the test. Besides Warren and Harris, there are already a number of other declared Democratic candidates including South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Obama administration official Julian Castro, and even Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii).
Check out Twitter’s response to Ocasio-Cortez…
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot