Sen. Sanders: Starbucks chairman ‘dead wrong’ on health care

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency 2020 candidates keep fitness on track while on the trail Mark Mellman: The most important moment in history? MORE (I-Vt.) rebuked outgoing Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz on Thursday, arguing that the businessman is "dead wrong" on his argument that Democrats should be more concerned with government spending than single-payer health care.

"I think his comment is dead wrong," Sanders said on CNN. "You have a guy who thinks that the United States apparently should remain the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all people."

Schultz announced this week that he would step down as Starbucks' executive chairman, fueling speculation that he could mount a bid for the White House in 2020. 

ADVERTISEMENT

In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Schultz criticized the Democratic Party, saying that it appeared to be moving too far to the left and saying that some of the proposals on the left are not “realistic.”

He expressed concerns that the party was focusing too much on universal health care proposals and other social programs at the expense of fiscal responsibility.

"It concerns me that so many voices within the Democratic party are going so far to the left," Schultz said. "I ask myself how are we going to pay for these things."

Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, has been among the most vocal advocates in Congress for a single-payer health care system.

The idea has gained traction among some Democrats, including Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' At debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR Trump court pick sparks frustration for refusing to answer questions MORE (N.Y.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerMark Mellman: The most important moment in history? Katie Pavlich: The Democrats' desperate do-overs Biden leads in new national poll, Warren close behind in second place MORE (N.J.).