The best chance former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz would have to win the presidency, if he chooses to run, would be as the Democratic nominee, not a third-party candidate, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Monday.
Schultz, a lifelong Democrat, said he's "seriously thinking of running for president" as a centrist, positioned outside the two-party system as independent.
Cramer said, "I know he says he doesn't want to be a Democrat, but how about if he got it by acclamation," meaning the Democratic Party could in the end nominate him as the best candidate to try to take back the White House. It would be kind of like going in the side door. "Therefore, he wouldn't have to go through the slings and arrows of the primaries, which I think would be very hard for him," Cramer added.
Schultz would probably like that, said Cramer, who has followed Schultz's career for years and interviewed him multiple times.
In an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday, Schultz blasted Democrats and Republicans for what he called a "reckless failure" of Constitutional responsibility.
Cramer weighed in, saying criticism "comes hard" for Schultz, who has been speculated to make a bid for at least two years. Some people would describe Schultz as "thin-skinned," the "Mad Money" host said, but added he can be best described as "combative" and "that doesn't necessarily lend itself well to ... let's call it a retail campaign."
Schultz did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment on Cramer's remarks.
— CNBC's Tucker Higgins contributed to this report.