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Tom Steyer: Howard Schultz ‘doesn’t sound like he’s ready for primetime’

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WASHINGTON — Liberal mega-donor and billionaire investor Tom Steyer dismissed the potential independent presidential bid by former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz as viable, but urged caution over the unpredictability of the coming 2020 election cycle.

Steyer, who recently decided against running in 2020 himself, has been mounting a grassroots campaign aimed at shoring up support to call for the impeachment and ultimate removal of President Donald Trump from office. Talking to reporters on Tuesday, Steyer cited Schultz’s potential run as a reason to ramp up his impeachment campaign.

Read more:There really aren’t too many Democrats in Congress who want to impeach Trump

“For the people who are saying we should just wait until November of 2020 because they’re so sure they know what’s going to happen in November of 2020, think Howard Schultz’s announcement that he was considering running as an independent,” Steyer said. “It’s a stark reminder that there will be tons of events between now and November of 2020 that no one has predicted, that will change the facts on the ground, and that what we need to do is the right thing right now.”

Steyer said Democrats who are overly confident that whoever their presidential nominee is will unseat Trump “is a level of arrogance that’s unwarranted,” which is why he is already pushing impeachment efforts.

In regard to the positions Schultz has taken since he began making the media rounds this week, Steyer suggested his fellow billionaire take a seat as the presidential election cycle heats up.

“Mr. Schultz has a right to his own opinions,” he said. “It doesn’t sound like he’s ready for primetime.”

Steyer’s “Need to Impeach” campaign has built a large following at the grassroots level, but has so far failed to pick up steam on Capitol Hill.

Democratic leaders have dismissed talk of impeachment and said they should instead focus on robust oversight from the various committees they now control in the House, in addition to waiting on the final report slated to be issued by the special counsel investigation headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Rep. Al Green of Texas, who has repeatedly called for Trump’s impeachment on the House floor and through the use of failed resolutions, joined Steyer on Tuesday. Green noted that while he is firm in his advocacy for impeachment, he is not actively lobbying members of Congress to join his ranks.

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