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 Warren2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Sanders doubles down on Bolivia 'coup,' few follow suit Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders doubles down on Bolivia 'coup,' few follow suit Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack Overnight Energy: Mark Ruffalo pushes Congress on 'forever chemicals' | Lawmakers spar over actor's testimony | House Dems unveil renewable energy tax plan | Funding for conservation program passes Senate hurdle 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 Sanders2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Sanders doubles down on Bolivia 'coup,' few follow suit Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKamala Harris endorses Christy Smith in bid to fill Katie Hill's seat Poll: Biden holds 11-point lead over Warren in Arizona Poll: Biden and Warren are neck and neck in California 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 TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' 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.