GOP billionaire Ken Langone: Howard Schultz is too far left of JFK's 'ask not' mantra

  • Langone says he would welcome Schultz in 2020 because the country needs more talented candidates to run for the White House.
  • "I have a lot of respect for Howard," Langone tells CNBC. "I would have concerns about some of Howard's stands."

Republican billionaire businessman and philanthropist Ken Langone told CNBC on Tuesday he would welcome a Howard Schultz run for president in 2020 because the country needs more talented candidates to run for the White House.

Schultz on Monday announced plans to step down as executive chairman of Starbucks, effective June 26. The move is fueling speculation about whether the former two-time CEO of the coffee giant and Democratic supporter will run for president in 2020.

"I know Howard. I have a lot of respect for Howard. I would have concerns about some of Howard's stands. He's a little bit, to me, too far left; not in a sense of philosophy but in the sense of what we expect from each other," Langone said on "Squawk Box."

The Home Depot co-founder said the U.S. has to get back to what Democratic President John F. Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Americans need to demand more of themselves and less from government, Langone said. He added that the nation's leaders must think differently about how to give people the tools to help themselves.

Langone supported Donald Trump for president after first backing then-GOP New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and later John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio.

For his part, Schultz, in a later CNBC interview Tuesday, criticized many leaders in the Democratic Party for veering too far left and overpromising government programs that are not fiscally possible.

Without naming names, Schultz said he wonders, "How are we going to pay for these things?"

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