Howard Schultz defends potential presidential run during Seattle book tour stop

SEATTLE -- Former Starbucks CEO and possible 2020 presidential candidate Howard Schultz visited Seattle Thursday as part of his book tour.

During the event at The Moore Theater, Schultz said there had been a "rush to judgment" since he floated the idea of an independent presidential run on 60 Minutes.  That move was met by backlash from Washington Democrats, who worry the left-leaning business mogul will siphon votes away from the Democratic candidate in 2020 and hand the election to President Donald Trump.

"For somebody who is professing to be a lifelong Democrat, I think to be running as an independent in this particular cycle is not a wise thing to do," said Tina Podlodowski, the Democratic Party chairwoman in Washington state.

Schultz has been a long-time Democratic donor and has contributed money to he campaigns of former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Washington Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray. During the Thursday event he said that Republicans who don't want to vote for Trump in 2020 but who can't check the box for a "far left" candidate need another choice.

"The Democratic Party as it stands today is espousing almost everyday very progressive policies that I think are unrealistic and not affordable and really a false promise," Schultz told the audience.

Protesters gathered outside the event to give Schultz an earful of what they think of his presidential ambitions.