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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-CortezOcasio-Cortez defends Harry Styles wearing dress on Vogue cover: 'It looks wonderful' Democrats' squabbling vindicates Biden non-campaign GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally UK moves up deadline to ban sales of new gasoline and diesel vehicles 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 WarrenDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks What's behind the divisions over Biden's secretary of Labor? Alito to far-right litigants: The buffet is open MORE (D-Mass.), Cory BookerCory BookerSenate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Hill associations push for more diversity in lawmakers' staffs Sanders celebrates Biden-Harris victory: 'Thank God democracy won out' MORE (D-N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration Trump campaign appeals dismissal of Pennsylvania election challenge Pressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Social media responds to Harris making history: 'I feel like our ancestors are rejoicing' Ocasio-Cortez says she doesn't plan on 'staying in the House forever' 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.