Howard Schultz: Green New Deal is ‘not realistic’

Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO who is mulling an independent run for president in 2020, slammed the recently proposed "Green New Deal" as “not realistic.”

“Let’s be sensible about what we're suggesting, let’s not just throw things against a wall because it’s a good slogan or we get a press release. Let’s be truthful,” Schultz said Tuesday at a CNN town hall.

“When I see politicians start throwing things out that I know is not realistic, that is not being honest with the American people.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Mueller report poses new test for Dems Environmentalists see victory with Green New Deal blitz MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyBen & Jerry's backs Green New Deal: 'We have to act now' Warren praises Ocasio-Cortez in Time 100 The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems prep for Mueller report's release MORE (D-Mass.) introduced companion resolutions on the Green New Deal Thursday. The nonbinding proposals have a goal of creating millions of “good, high-wage jobs” by working toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

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The plan has become a lightning rod among the progressive base and 2020 Democrats, with several of the front-runners, including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Warren spends big on staff in high-stakes 2020 gamble On The Money: Inside the Mueller report | Cain undeterred in push for Fed seat | Analysis finds modest boost to economy from new NAFTA | White House says deal will give auto sector B boost MORE (D-Mass.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerButtigieg says he wouldn't be opposed to having Phish play at his inauguration Sanders announces first endorsements in South Carolina Buttigieg to fundraise in DC with major Obama, Clinton bundlers next month: report MORE (D-N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisFive former Obama ambassadors back Buttigieg Harris: Integrity of US justice system 'took a real blow' with Barr's actions Sanders announces first endorsements in South Carolina MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandButtigieg says he wouldn't be opposed to having Phish play at his inauguration 2020 Dems call on Mueller to testify about redacted report 2020 Dems blast Barr's defense of Trump before Mueller report's release MORE (D-N.Y.), expressing support for the proposal.

Schultz, who has excoriated the Democratic Party for moving too far to the left, said the proposal is only one of several that Democrats would not be able to fund.

“When I read the Green New Deal and I try to understand what they’re suggesting, I don’t understand how you’re going to give a job to everybody, how you’re going to give free college to everybody, how you’re going to create clean energy throughout the country in every building of the land, and then tally this thing up with $32 trillion on Medicare for all. That’s about $40 trillion plus, we are sitting … with $22 trillion of debt on the balance sheet of America,” he said.

While opposed to the deal, Schultz refused to go after Ocasio-Cortez and Markey over their plan.

“I think these are well-intentioned people and like me are gravely concerned about our planet, climate change and the things that we have to do,” he said.

“I think it’s immoral to suggest that we can tally up $20 [trillion], $30, $40, $50 trillion of debt to solve a problem that can be solved in a different way. It’s not that they’re disingenuous, I think they’re well-intentioned. This is not personal, I just don’t agree that this is the right way to approach things.” 

Though refusing to attack Democrats on Capitol Hill, the former Starbucks CEO has already made enemies in Washington. Schultz’s announcement last month that he is considering an independent presidential run infuriated Democrats, who feared that his candidacy could divide the anti-Trump vote and help the president win reelection in 2020.