Former Starbucks CEO and possible candidate for president Howard Schultz on Thursday apologized for saying he had spent more time talking to military servicemembers than any other candidate, including two veterans.
“I probably have spent more time in the last decade certainly than anyone running for president with the military,” Schultz said in an interview on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Thursday morning. “I’ve been to Okinawa, I’ve been to Kuwait. ... I’ve been to the national training center in the Mojave Desert.”
“Yesterday I gave a speech on failed political leadership in this country,” Schultz tweeted Thursday afternoon. “A point I tried to make is that leaders must take responsibility and own their mistakes. Today I said I spent more time with the military than any candidate running for president. That was wrong.”
Pete Buttigieg, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, are the two veterans running for the Democratic nomination in 2020. Gabbard is a member of the Army National Guard and served in both Iraq and Kuwait, and Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana and a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve who served in Afghanistan
Butigieg mocked Schultz for his statement later that same day.
“I remember a Green Beans Coffee at the exchange at Bagram, and a decent espresso machine run by the Italian NATO element at ISAF HQ. But I don’t recall seeing any Starbucks over there...,” he tweeted.