Howard Schultz takes questions at CNN town hall
Our live coverage of tonight's CNN town hall has concluded. Visit CNN Politics for more.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz got a roaring applause following his CNN town town hall in Houston.
The audience surrounded the billionaire who stuck around for roughly 15 minutes speaking with people and taking selfies.
Howard Schultz says he believes there is something deeply wrong with the American health care system.
It is in a “crisis on many levels,” he said on Tuesday night.
He supports Obamacare, but thinks it needs to be “fixed.”
But asked what, specifically, he would do, Schultz again lacked much detail in his answers.
“I think everyone in America, every person, deserves to have the right for affordable care. Every person,” he declared -- the first of his “three principles” on the issue.
The second: “There needs to be competition in the system and what I mean that is competition so that the American people can get access to prescription drugs at lower prices,” Schultz said, "because right now the government is not allowed, under a federal law, to negotiate with (pharmaceutical companies).”
The third principle echoed musings familiar from President Donald Trump’s own statements in the past: a potential plan to change the rules governing how and where insurance companies sell their plans.
When Harlow pressed him for details on the way he would solve these problems -- “How -- the question is how?” -- Schultz returned to speaking about prescription drug pricing.
Mostly, though, he again took the opportunity to rail at both parties: Republicans, he said, had offered no alternative to Obamacare. Progressive Democrats who are for pushing “Medicare for all,” Schultz claimed, had not accurately assessed the potential downside.
“That would disrupt the entire system and it would cost 32 trillion dollars,” he said. The price tag is about right, but his argument didn’t take into account the money Americans would, under the plan, save by having expenses like co-pays and deductibles wiped out.
Billionaire Howard Schultz said one of his first actions as president would be to call every world leader and repair the US' relationships with allies.
Howard Schultz, responding to an audience member who wondered how removing assault-style weapons would benefit the greater good of the country, said he recognized that gun control was "a very sensitive issue," and aspired to find "some sensible approach to removing the kind of weapons that have no place in common society."
What he said:
The billionaire former CEO of Starbucks, who may or may not be preparing to run for president as an independent, told a CNN town hall audience Tuesday night that, when it comes to race, he doesn't see color -- never has.
He added: "We need to do everything we can to restore the humanity of the country and the president has a large role to play in that."
The line came as he spoke about the April 2018 incident at a Starbucks store in Philadelphia -- "a terrible moment for the company" -- that led to a massive anti-bias training push for employees nationwide.
Watch the moment:
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz would not commit to getting out of the presidential race if he knows in late 2020 that his candidacy will help President Donald Trump get elected.
Asked multiple times by CNN’s Poppy Harlow, Schultz, who has not officially entered the 2020 race, dodged the question. He said he would not run if, in the next few months, “math doesn’t tally up” but declined to say if he would do the same later in the race, should he get into the 2020 race.
“First off, the issue of being a spoiler, how can you spoil a system that is already broken,” he said. “It’s just not working.”
He then added:
But pressed on whether he would make the same calculation deep into the presidential run, Schultz said he was not at that point yet.
“At this point right now, I’m asking a different question. And that is, it’s a lot less about me than giving the American people a voice that they don’t have,” he said. “And what better expression of our democracy than giving the American people a better choice, anew choice. There’s nothing in the constitution, not one word, that says anything about parties. So why can’t I raise my voice and say I’m deeply concerned about where we are as a country?"
Watch more below: