Former DNC Chair Slams Howard Schultz, Media: ‘If He Weren’t A Billionaire, Nobody Would Be Paying Attention’

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks to students at Purdue University.
Joshua Lott / Getty Images

In an interview broadcast on Saturday, former Chair of the Democratic National Committee Howard Dean criticized former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and the media coverage of the billionaire’s seemingly imminent presidential campaign, Raw Story reports.

Dean appeared on CNN right after Schultz, and immediately — prompted by host Michael Smerconish’s question — criticized both the independent presidential candidate, and the network’s coverage of his upcoming candidacy. According to Dean, the fact that Schultz is being given space on the national stage is problematic in and of itself.

Dean slammed Schultz’s lack of experience and knowledge when it comes to politics, opining that the billionaire’s wealth is the only reason he is being featured on television and written about in print and online media.

“If he weren’t a billionaire, nobody would be paying attention whatsoever,” Dean said of Schultz. “Let’s have the political commentary done by people who know something about politics,” he added.

The former Starbucks CEO is being taken seriously, and he is considered a credible candidate, only because of his money, which is a major issue for the majority of the country, according to the former DNC chair.

If Schultz didn’t have money, Dean reaffirmed, CNN would not even “have him on.”

“That’s the point I’m trying to make; if he didn’t have a billion dollars or whatever you wouldn’t consider him a credible candidate and I think that’s the problem for most Americans.”

As Raw Story notes, Schultz — a self-described moderate and centrist — said during his interview with CNN that the Democratic Party is headed in an extreme direction. The former Chair of the Democratic National Committee disagreed with Schultz, adding that it is a “media myth” that the Democratic Party is rapidly moving left.

At the South by Southwest festival today, Schultz once again described himself as a centrist, claiming that wants to “disrupt the system with a centrist approach.”

Loading...

“I think the American people agree with me. They want to see another choice,” the billionaire said, failing to define what that choice is, according to NBC News.

The publication notes that Schultz struggled with explaining what his policies would be. The billionaire said that taxes on the rich should be raised, but refused to say how much. He criticized the progressive wing of the Democratic Party’s plan to address income inequality, describing it as “socialism.”

The former Starbucks CEO also said that the Democratic Party has embraced “extreme positions” that are “never” going to be accepted by the American people. When asked to define what socialism is, Schultz pointed to Venezuela.