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Howard Schultz Apologizes for Claiming He’s Spent More Time With Military Than 2020 Candidates

Presidential hopeful Howard Schultz apologized Thursday for claiming that he’s spent more time with the military in the past decade than any of the other 2020 hopefuls—a pool that includes Tulsi Gabbard, who is a veteran. “I probably have spent more time in the last decade certainly than anyone running for president with the military,” Schultz claimed on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show. When CNN’s David Wright pointed out the gaffe on Twitter, Pete Buttigieg—a potential 2020 contender who’s also a military vet—retweeted Wright’s post with a comeback of his own: “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,” Buttigieg wrote. “But I don’t recall seeing any Starbucks over there...”

“Yesterday I gave a speech on failed political leadership in this country,” Schultz wrote, linking to Buttigieg’s tweet. “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.” In a subsequent tweet, Schultz added that “I apologize to @PeteButtigieg and @TulsiGabbard who served our country honorably. In that moment I made something that should unite us all, about me. I made a mistake and I apologize.”