Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz described the United States as being in a “very fragile place” while speaking Wednesday in Las Vegas.
But Schultz, who is toying with a 2020 presidential bid as an Independent candidate, didn’t offer any insight into his political plans. Instead, he commented more broadly on the state of the country and what he thinks needs to transpire.
“What I would submit is that the fragile nature of where we are requires us to realize that the gifts of the country are not an entitlement,” he said. “It’s a privilege but not an entitlement, and we have to earn it.”
The billionaire said earning it means living our values and moving the country forward, which he called a collective responsibility.
“I think we all know one thing — that there is something not quite right in terms of where we are as a country,” he said. “(There’s) a set of values and dignity and honor and respect and civility that needs to be restored. And we all have an equal responsibility in doing everything we can to make sure that happens.”
Schultz has been traveling the country since the release of his book, “From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America,” in January. The businessman said he spent time with Kansas farmers last week and with residents along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona yesterday.
He took a swipe at President Donald Trump while describing the challenges facing people in both locations. Schultz said the policies “being put in place in Washington” are having an adverse effect on Americans across the nation.
The bulk of the conversation, however, was about business leadership. Schultz appeared at a software company’s conference at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Schultz had planned a town hall with Las Vegas residents Wednesday afternoon, but that event was postponed. His team noted it would be rescheduled but didn’t disclose the reason for the delay.