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Schultz previously said he was ready to spend more than $100 million on a White House bid. To compare, President Trump gave or loaned $66 million to his 2016 campaign.
"The money that I was prepared to commit to a presidential campaign will instead be used to invest in people, organizations and ideas that promote honesty, civility and results in our politics, and that move the country beyond two-party gridlock," Schultz said in a letter on Friday.
Schultz said he and his wife will continue to focus on the Schultz Family Foundation, which works with post-9/11 veterans. While he was still Starbucks' chief executive, Schultz pledged $30 million to help veterans integrate into civilian life and said the company would prioritize hiring vets.
It's unclear whether Schultz will put some of that $100 million toward a 2020 candidate. He was harsh on both Republicans and Democrats in his Friday statement.
"Democrats and Republicans have consistently put party over country, perpetuated divisiveness and gridlock, and failed to solve big problems and enact solutions on which a majority of people in both parties already agree," he said, adding that government is only part of any solutions to problems in the U.S.
If he does endorse, Schultz may gravitate toward former Vice President Joe Biden, who is viewed as the moderate option in the Democratic field. FOX Business' Charlie Gasparino predicted in May that Schultz would make his decision to run based on how well Biden performed.
Schultz quit before he started an official campaign, but Democrats who have dropped out of the crowded 2020 race so far include California Rep. Eric Swalwell and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. Unlike those politicians, Schultz did not have a campaign committee collecting contributions and will not have to figure out what to do with donations.
Schultz's media team declined to comment further.