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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 WarrenThe Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Disney laying off 32,000 workers as coronavirus batters theme parks Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezTrump tweets Thanksgiving criticism of NFL QBs for kneeling Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation 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 SandersThe Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Prepare for buyers' remorse when Biden/Harris nationalize health care MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Biden can rebuild trust in our justice system by prioritizing prosecutorial reform Harris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence 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 TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation 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.