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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 Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) are “well-intentioned” but questioned whether proposals they have backed are realistic.{mosads}

“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 Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala Harris (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 Trump’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.

Tags 2020 election Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Howard Schultz Kamala Harris SXSW Twitter

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