Ex-CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, has expressed his presidential ambitions. He defended his criticism that “Medicare-for-all” was “not American” on Tuesday, according to CNN.
CNN's Poppy Harlow asked Schultz, "Why do you think Medicare-for-all, in your words, is not American?"
The former CEO had criticized the health care concept as "not American" earlier Tuesday on "CBS This Morning."
"It's not that it's not American," Schultz said. "It's unaffordable.”
"What I believe is that every American has the right to affordable health care as a statement," Schultz said.
He continued, “But now that we look back on it, the premiums have skyrocketed and we need to go back to the Affordable Care Act, refine it and fix it."
Schultz reasoned that the Democratic progressive platform of giving everyone Medicare, free college education, and jobs for everyone is prohibitively expensive and as “false as President Trump telling the American people when he was running for president that the Mexicans were going to pay for the wall.”
When he was asked for his plan for health care, he answered, “I don’t have a plan today. I’m not yet running for president.”
Schultz criticized Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal of a 70% marginal tax rate on income over $10 million.
"Why should we punish it? What's the American dream? The American dream is to create opportunity," he told Harlow. "The American dream is to rise above your standing in life. Now, we're going to be providing punitive tax rates for people who have succeeded. Now what we need is comprehensive tax reform."
Schultz said that he agreed with Republicans that the US needs strict border security, but “not with a wall, which is insanity.”
He said that he supports a pathway to citizenship for those protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
"I think it's un-American for the Dreamers not to have a pathway to citizenship and they should be given that," he said. "With regard to the 11 million people who are unauthorized, let them get in line, pay taxes, pay a fee, and over time give them the opportunity to become Americans."
Democrats criticize his decision to run, arguing that he would just take votes from the party’s nominee, therefore giving more strength to Donald Trump’s presidential race.
"If that's the final analysis -- that President Trump gets a second term and that you pulled more from Democrats -- would that keep you up at night?" Harlow asked.
"I would never put myself in a position where I would be the person who re-elects Donald Trump, but that is not what I believe today," Schultz answered.