Fox News loves the idea of Howard Schultz running for president

Hoping that “he splits the leftist vote in the Democrats and puts Donald Trump back in for a second term,” Fox News is ready for the Howard Schultz candidacy

After former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that he was considering a run for president, hosts and guests on Fox News and its sister network Fox Business have not been shy about voicing their bad faith support for his potential 2020 campaign. While Fox News and Fox Business personalities are excited about Schultz’s “realistic” opposition to Medicare for All, their clear hope is that his candidacy will “help our president tremendously in becoming re-elected.” 

Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

“The Ross Perot factor”: Fox hopes Schultz’s candidacy will guarantee Trump’s re-election

Fox Business host Stuart Varney: “If Schultz runs as an independent, he splits the leftist vote in the Democrats and puts Donald Trump back in for a second term.” Steve Doocy called this “the Ross Perot factor.”

Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt: “Wall Street would love for him to run, I know Republicans would love for him to run … because he would divide the Democratic Party.”

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs: Some Democrats are “so concerned Schultz’s bid would split anti-Trump votes on the left and ensure his re-election. Do it, Howard. Do it.”

Fox contributor Newt Gingrich: “I think President Trump should tweet about [Howard Schultz] at least once a week. Encourage him, taunt him, do whatever it takes. ... I hope the Democrats split, and I hope rational Democrats vote for him as an independent, and the nutcase can vote for the Democratic nominee, and Trump gets re-elected.”

Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Ed Henry: “I’ve got one name for you: Ralph Nader. And that’s the real fear for Democrats. The tens of thousands of votes he got in Florida back in 2000 that made sure that Al Gore was not elected president. Same could happen here.”

A Lou Dobbs Tonight panel concluded that a Schultz candidacy “would help our president tremendously in becoming re-elected,” and Dobbs suggested, “Let’s get him in. Let’s cheer him on.” 

Former Trump official Chris Christie on Varney & Co.: “Go, Howard, go. We want Howard as an independent candidate. … He would split the left and we would win by an even bigger margin in 2020 with President Trump. So, if Howard wants to run, I’m all in. I’ll even write him a check if he wants.” (Christie said a similar thing on Fox & Friends.) 

No more “fantastical economics”: Supporting Schultz’s opposition to Medicare for All

Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy: “You have Howard Schultz yesterday being realistic” that “people can’t afford” universal health care, and he “even took a shot at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, saying that her ideas are misinformed and un-American.”

Doocy also claimed that Schultz is “on the same page” as Medicare for All opponents, telling his guest, Rep. John Joyce (R-PA), “You sound like Howard Schultz, the Starbucks guy, who might run as an independent. He said that the Democrats’ health care for all is unrealistic and America cannot afford it.” 

Stuart Varney responded to Schultz’s health care comments: “Wall Street traditionally supports Democrats, but they don’t support socialists. … They do support kind of middle-of-the-road Democrats, centrists, like Howard Schultz.” 

Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade positively mentioned that Schultz is “very cognizant of the No. 1 issue for Americans … and that’s health care,” because “people don't want [private health insurance] destroyed, they want it fixed.” 

Fox guest Guy Benson: With his criticism of Medicare for All, Schultz is “trying to speak to people who don't want to play fantastical economics anymore.”

“‘Billionaire’ is a bad word now”: Defending Schultz from attacks by the left

After a heckler called Schultz an “egotistical billionaire asshole,” Ainsley Earhardt complained that “‘billionaire’ is a bad word now” and people “can’t make money” without being vilified. 

Steve Doocy claimed that the criticism Schultz has received “goes to show you what a formidable candidate he would be.” 

Varney & Co. guest Nick Troiano accused anti-Schultz Democrats of engaging in “candidate suppression” by not welcoming him to the race.