Sen. Sanders: Starbucks chairman ‘dead wrong’ on health care

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: (Mis)interpreting elections Dems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Rasmussen poll: Nearly three-quarters of Dems want 'fresh face' as nominee in 2020 MORE (I-Vt.) rebuked outgoing Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz on Thursday, arguing that the businessman is "dead wrong" on his argument that Democrats should be more concerned with government spending than single-payer health care.

"I think his comment is dead wrong," Sanders said on CNN. "You have a guy who thinks that the United States apparently should remain the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all people."

Schultz announced this week that he would step down as Starbucks' executive chairman, fueling speculation that he could mount a bid for the White House in 2020. 

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In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Schultz criticized the Democratic Party, saying that it appeared to be moving too far to the left and saying that some of the proposals on the left are not “realistic.”

He expressed concerns that the party was focusing too much on universal health care proposals and other social programs at the expense of fiscal responsibility.

"It concerns me that so many voices within the Democratic party are going so far to the left," Schultz said. "I ask myself how are we going to pay for these things."

Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, has been among the most vocal advocates in Congress for a single-payer health care system.

The idea has gained traction among some Democrats, including Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandDems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women ‘Abolish ICE’ is going to hurt Democrats in the midterms 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser MORE (N.Y.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Senate adds members to pro-NATO group Booker: Trump's national security officials face 'serious' choice after Putin summit MORE (N.J.).