Well, that didn’t take long.
When Howard Schultz announced recently that he’s mulling an independent bid for the White House in 2020, liberals and their lapdogs in the media quickly decided that a run by the former CEO of Starbucks would be bad for them. They had a simple theory: Schultz would siphon off votes from a Democratic presidential nominee, letting President Trump win re-election in a cakewalk.
So, it seems, the time has now come to destroy the coffee billionaire.
The Washington Post set out to take Schultz down a peg with a story Wednesday headlined “Howard Schultz says he grew up in a poor, rough place. Those who lived there called it the ‘country club of projects.’ ”
BROOKLYN — When Howard Schultz tells people why he should be president of the United States, the billionaire often tells a story of a poor kid who escaped from the chaos and cacophony of a Brooklyn housing project to become the architect of a global coffee behemoth.
The man who built the Starbucks empire and now calls himself a likely “centrist independent” candidate for president says his is “a rags-to-riches story” in which he started out on “literally the wrong side of the tracks” in “low-income” housing, where “we were all poor,” where “my best defense was a good offense” and where fights “didn’t typically escalate to deadly violence, but they were tough in their own way.”
But Schultz’s depiction of Bayview as a rough, low-income community is inconsistent with the city’s definition of the project, the requirements for tenants to get into the buildings, and the experience of others who lived there.
The Post combed the countryside to find quotes like this: “‘Bayview was for people who were moving up, part of the old tenement trail as people left the tough life in the old walk-ups of Brownsville and East New York to get to a place like Bayview,’ said Jonathan Rieder, a sociologist at Barnard College who spent years studying Bayview’s neighborhood, the Canarsie section of Brooklyn. ‘Bayview was a heavily Jewish, solidly middle-income place. It was an oasis, a sanctuary.'”
And the paper had this ominous sentence: “Schultz declined to be interviewed for this report.”
But the Post did get comment from “a spokesman for his nascent campaign,” Tucker Warren, who said: “The rent at Bayview was less than $100 a month, and some months the Schultz family couldn’t pay the rent. Any insinuation that Howard didn’t grow up in an economically distressed environment is more of a comment on the state of our politics than it is about the economics of his family.”
In an interview Thursday with Hugh Hewitt, Schultz commented on the hit piece.
“Well, I’ve got to tell you, when I saw the headline of ‘country club of projects,’ I knew they weren’t talking about the place that I grew up in. But you know, I told a very personal story of the dysfunction and the pressure that I was under living in that apartment, and what I experienced as a young boy. And in the book, I reveal stories I’ve never told before. But my parents could not make the $96 dollars a month rent,” Schultz said.
“And so you know, I look at that story, and it’s consistent, unfortunately, with other stories that have been written about me in the last few months since I decided to consider running for president as a centrist independent outside of the two party system. Any time that you are going to try and break the status quo and go against the grain, the forces of nature are against you. But I’m here standing tall because of my love of the country, my profound concern about where we are,” he said.
Schultz is indeed a serious threat. With Democratic hopefuls trying to outdo each other on who can be farthest left — the party’s candidates have all but embraced socialism, with free everything for everybody — Schultz wants to present an option to voters: A candidate in the middle. He’s being taken seriously; CNN has already devoted an hour-long “town hall” to him.
It’s not the first time someone’s claim to be from a hardscrabble New York borough has made headlines. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called herself a “girl from the Bronx,” but it turned out that she grew up mostly in wealthy Westchester County.
“Though Ocasio-Cortez, 28, was born in and currently lives in the Bronx, county land records show her late father Sergio Cortez-Roman bought a quaint three-bedroom in Yorktown Heights, New York in 1991, when she was about two,” the Daily Mail reported last June.
It is an apparent contradiction with the candidate’s official biography, which states in part: ‘The state of Bronx public schools in the late 80s and early 90s sent her parents on a search for a solution. She ended up attending public school 40 minutes north in Yorktown, and much of her life was defined by the 40 minute commute between school and her family in the Bronx.’