Schultz at SXSW: Issues facing US won't be solved by sending tweets

Schultz at SXSW: Issues facing US won't be solved by sending tweets
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Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is mulling launching a 2020 independent presidential bid, went after members of both parties Saturday during a talk at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Texas.

"We're living in a society right now where you can send a tweet about anything … and all of a sudden you're an iconic celebrity. ... But that’s not going to solve the issues that we're facing," he told NBC's Dylan Byers at the Austin conference.

During the conversation, Schultz sought to leverage his decades of experience in business and years running a global corporation to make the case that he could successfully lead the country if elected.

Schultz called the Democratic platform "extreme." He also said people such as Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Buttigieg calls Warren 'evasive' on Medicare for all Sanders hits 1 million donors MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezProgressives push for changes to Pelosi drug pricing plan Sanders defends job losses from ending use of fossil fuels Trump spokeswoman: Health care will be 'big' selling point for union workers MORE (D-N.Y.) are "well-intentioned" but questioned whether proposals they have backed are realistic.

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"They love the country. They have their core beliefs. But you have to ask yourself … is it realistic to think that these things can be achieved?" he said. 

"You can’t try and solve one extreme with the other," he added. "And now we have a new extreme, and it’s the Democratic platform."

He also slammed the two-party system, calling it "broken."

Schultz announced in January that he was "seriously considering" running for president in 2020 as a "centrist independent." In doing so, he would opt not to face a crowded field of progressives and Democrats such as Warren, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Krystal Ball calls on Sanders to follow Yang's lead on war on drugs Buttigieg calls Warren 'evasive' on Medicare for all MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTwo former Congressional Black Caucus chairmen back Biden Strippers, 'Hustlers' and the Democratic debates 2020 Dems honor Emily Clyburn MORE (D-Calif.) and others who are vying for Democratic nomination.

Democrats fear that if Schultz does decide to run, he'll garner votes among those opposing President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE's reelection, helping hand the president a second term.

The former executive maintained Saturday that if he were to enter the 2020 race, it could split the vote across parties, saying he will "not proceed" if "the math doesn’t work." 

SXSW is an annual festival and conference of music, media, technology and other topics that takes place in Austin.