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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Potential 2020 presidential candidate Howard Schultz has been making the rounds in South Florida this week.
Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, would be running as an Independent.
He came up from very little to grow the coffee chain from a handful of stores to the international brand we know today.
“I’m a self-made person, I grew up in public housing,” he said. “I built a global company in 77 countries. I gave free healthcare, ownership and free college tuition to every employee. We have over 300,000 people who work for Starbucks. I have a track record of creating not only a profitable company but a deep sense of humanity.”
He doesn’t like hearing people vilify capitalists, saying, “Capitalism has been the lifeblood of our free enterprise system.”
“My success could only happen in America and we should be celebrating that,” he added.
Speaking about some of the things that are unique to voters in Florida, Schultz discussed the Cuban embargo and ways to proceed dealing with the island nation that is so close to South Florida’s shores.
“I think we should have more trade with Cuba,” Schultz said. “This is not a time that I believe that America should be building walls. We should be building bridges.”
The topic of Venezuela also came up, with Schultz saying he supports the ousting of Nicolás Maduro.
“The election obviously was not legitimate,” he said. “The President [of the United States] needs to step in. We need allies to do that. This is a moment of truth, a moment of leadership where American democracy and our values need to be played out and we have a role to play there.”
South Florida is a community that has become a big part of the gun safety conversation.
This has become especially true in the wake of last year’s deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
The issue of gun control was brought up and Schultz seemed to have a very matter-of-fact view on the polarizing topic.
“Is there a better example of our broken politics, where both sides cannot come together on behalf of the American people, when approximately 80% of the American people want to see significant legislation, common sense legislation, on gun legislation?” he asked.
“The second amendment should be preserved, I get that, but there should be a ban on weapons of war,” he said. “I think about those kids in Parkland and what they tried to do, and the emotion and the tragedy of this. This is a perfect example to me of why there is a need for an independent voice and why I’m seriously running for president outside the two party system.”
Schultz also spoke with CBS4’s Jim DeFede on immigration, including DACA, and several other topics. The interview can be seen at the top of this page.