"We're living at a most fragile time, not only the fact that this president is not qualified to be the president, but the fact that both parties are consistently not doing what's necessary on behalf of the American people," Schultz told “60 Minutes” on Sunday.
Trump fired back on Twitter saying that the former executive, who stepped down as the CEO of Starbucks in June, doesn’t have the “guts” to run for president.
“Howard Schultz doesn’t have the ‘guts’ to run for President! Watched him on @60Minutes last night and 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 tweeted Monday morning.
Schultz retorted on Monday night, in his first public appearance since the announcement, saying that Trump is an “insecure man” and his Twitter attacks were a sign of “weakness,” and vowed to “represent the American people well.”
“I think President Trump is a very insecure man and that insecurity is manifested with all of these attacks, which I really view as weakness not as strength,” Schultz said during a book tour event in New York City. “And so we’re not going to get in the mud with him. We’re going to do everything we can to represent the American people with dignity and respect.”
Schultz also said that Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria is a “classic example of lack of leadership” and why he is not fit to run a country.
However, the appearance didn’t go smoothly, as Schultz began to speak he was interrupted by a heckler, who was escorted out by security.
“Don’t help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire a-----e,” the protester shouted. “Go back to getting ratioed on Twitter. Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elite who think they know how to run the world. That’s not what democracy means.”
Schultz is also being criticized by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is also considering a 2020 run as a Democrat. In a Tweet on Monday, the billionaire lambasted third-party candidates saying they would help re-elect Trump.
“In 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the President. That’s a risk I refused to run in 2016 and we can’t afford to run it now,” he said.
Although Schultz has described himself as a “lifelong Democrat” he isn’t connecting with some ideas floated by members of the party, especially newly minted house Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s tax plan.
“I think I respect the Democratic Party. I no longer feel affiliated because I don’t think their views represent the majority of Americans,” he said. “I don’t think we want a 70 percent income tax in America and I certainly don’t think we can afford the things they are suggesting.”
However, in Schultz’s opinion, innovation, imagination and dialogue with “great smart people” would solve these problems and “get American going again.”