Well that escalated quickly.
It took less than 24 hours after announcing that he was seriously considering running for president as an independent in 2020 for the Left to turn on moderate progressive Howard Schultz — and just 30 seconds into his appearance at a book store in New York City for him to be harshly heckled.
In a video from the Barnes and Noble at Union Square Monday that has since gone viral, a left-wing heckler can be heard decrying the former Starbucks CEO as an "egotistical billionaire a**hole" whose potential presidential run threatens to "re-elect Trump."
"Don’t help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire a***hole!" a male heckler shouted. "Go back to getting ratioed on Twitter! Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elites, who think they know how to run the world!"
The heckler was quickly removed from the disrupted event, the New York Post reports, and Schultz went on to address his announcement Sunday about possibly taking on Donald Trump in 2020.
"What I said last night is that I’m seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent, and I wanted to clarify the word independent, which I view merely as a designation on the ballot," Schultz told the audience, some of whom presumably had gathered there to get a signed copy of his new book, "From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America."
The Post reports that the event moderator, Andrew Ross Sorkin, pressed Schultz about the decision, asking him if he'd drop out if it looked like his candidacy as an independent would benefit Trump.
"Nobody wants to see Donald Trump removed from office more than me," Schultz replied. "If I decide to run for president as an independent, I will believe – and have the courage and conviction to believe — that I can win. I can’t answer that question today, but I’m certainly not going to do anything to put Donald Trump back into the Oval Office."
The "egotistical billionaire a***hole" heckler wasn't the only one to interrupt the event; another left-winger reportedly screamed out "Healthcare is a human right!" when Schultz explained that government-provided health care would leave the U.S. bankrupt.
It's not just far-left activists who are upset about Schultz's tease of a presidential run. As The Atlantic noted Sunday in a report titled "Ex-Starbucks CEO Could Get Trump Re-elected," "Already top Democratic operatives working for presidential candidates and beyond say they’re worried that the only thing he’ll accomplish is making sure Donald Trump gets reelected. It’s more than just sniping at a prospective opponent; word that he might invest in an independent run has many of them clearly worried about how he’d split votes in a general election."
Schultz announced his interest in running Sunday in a series of tweets and a much-critiqued interview with "60 Minutes."
"I love our country, and I am seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent," the former CEO tweeted Sunday evening. "This moment is like no other. Our two parties are more divided than ever. Let’s discuss how we can come together to create opportunities for more people. #ReimagineUS."
In his sit-down with "60 Minutes," Schultz blasted Trump, Republicans, and Democrats in his explanation for why he was strongly considering jumping in the fray. "Not only the fact that this president is not qualified to be the president, but the fact that both parties are consistently not doing what’s necessary on behalf of the American people and are engaged, every single day, in revenge politics," he said.
Trump responded Monday morning, tweeting, "Howard Schultz doesn’t have the 'guts' to run for President! Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the 'smartest person.' Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!"