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-CortezLawmakers 'failed us' says ICE chief Pelosi, Democratic leaders seek to quell liberal revolt over border bill Bronx restaurants thank Ocasio-Cortez for her endorsements MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeySenate set to bypass Iran fight amid growing tensions Young activists press for change in 2020 election Hillicon Valley: House panel advances election security bill | GOP senator targets YouTube with bill on child exploitation | Hicks told Congress Trump camp felt 'relief' after release of Clinton docs | Commerce blacklists five Chinese tech groups 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 WarrenAbigail Disney: 'We're creating a super-class' of rich people Is Big Tech biased? The Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations MORE (D-Mass.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBiden to debate for first time as front-runner Rules for first Democratic primary debates announced Press: Democrats form circular firing squad MORE (D-N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Biden to debate for first time as front-runner Rules for first Democratic primary debates announced MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandRules for first Democratic primary debates announced Juan Williams: Warren on the rise 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown 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.