Howard Schultz rips Green New Deal

Add Howard Schultz to the small, but growing, list of potential or declared presidential contenders raising alarm over the proposed Green New Deal.

The billionaire former Starbucks CEO said the sweeping proposal, which aims to transform the country’s economy to fight climate change while enacting a host of new health care and welfare programs, was “not realistic.”


“Let’s be sensible about what we're suggesting, let’s not just throw things against a wall because it’s a good slogan or we get a press release. Let’s be truthful,” Schultz, who’s mulling an independent bid for the White House, argued during a CNN town hall on Tuesday.

“When I see politicians start throwing things out that I know is not realistic, that is not being honest with the American people,” he added.

The Green New Deal, which was announced last week by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and veteran Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, has energized the progressive base of the Democratic Party. And it’s become a litmus test in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Seven senators either running for the nomination or seriously weighing bids have signed on as co-sponsors to the Green New Deal.

But not everybody’s on board with the guidelines, which have been ravaged by Republicans as a socialist dream that would bankrupt the country.

Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio – who appears likely to launch a presidential campaign – on Tuesday defended his decision not to co-sponsor the Green New Deal, saying "I don't need to co-sponsor every bill that others think they need to co-sponsor to show my progressive politics."


Former Democratic Rep. John Delaney of Maryland was more outspoken in his opposition.

“I don’t actually think the Green New Deal is the right way to go,” the declared presidential candidate said Tuesday while campaigning in New Hampshire. “I certainly support the fact that it’s put a lot of attention on this incredibly important issue but I don’t support the notion of making it harder to get something done on climate change.”

“If we want to actually make a difference on climate change, we have to do something right away and it’s got to be big. And there are some things that we can do that are big right away,” he added. “So let’s not do things to make that it harder. If you actually tie climate change to universal health care, then you’re making it five times harder to do anything on climate change.”

And former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg – a leader in the battle to combat climate change – also took issue with the proposals.

The billionaire media mogul, during a trip two weeks ago to New Hampshire, explained that “you have to have realistic things; we are not overnight going to change everything we do. ... People aren’t going to overnight give up their jobs if those jobs happen not to be on the side of the Green New Deal.”