Trump adviser Steve Bannon (left) watches President Donald Trump congratulate Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, ahead of a policy and strategy forum with leaders at the White House’s state dining hall on February 3, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Brendan Smyalowski AFP | Getty Images
Elon Musk said twice this week that he plans to vote for Republicans in the upcoming election, although he says he has previously voted for Democrats like former President Barack Obama.
Musk’s stated political leanings will not surprise people who follow the celebrity’s interactions and statements on Twitter and elsewhere.
Behind the scenes, Musk and his largest companies, SpaceX and Tesla, have worked to influence the US political landscape for years through lobbying and political donations. Combined, SpaceX and Tesla have spent more than $ 2 million on lobbying in 2021. They tend to spend on both sides of the aisle.
But Musk has historically been against the union, against the billionaires’ tax, and a staunch critic of President Joe Biden.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, said in a September interview with CNBC that Musk had endorsed his Red State social policies, which included severe restrictions on abortion, book bans calling for LGBTQ memoirs to be removed from the school curriculum, or libraries and investigations into abuses in families seeking care for transgender children of the sexes.
On Wednesday, Musk wrote on Twitter:
“In the past, I voted for a Democrat because they were (mostly) a party of kindness. But they have become a party of division and hatred, so I can no longer support them and I will vote Republican. Now watch their campaign for dirty tricks against me unfold … ”adding emojis from movie popcorn to the accent.
The tweet followed earlier statements at the All In Summit in Miami on Monday, where Elon Musk accused Twitter of having a strong leftist bias, he said during a podcast record, “I would classify myself as moderate, neither a Republican nor a Democrat. In fact, I have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in the past. The predominant. I may never have voted Republican. Now, this election?
Musk described his upcoming $ 44 billion Twitter acquisition as a “moderate takeover” of the platform, not a right-wing takeover. But then he continued to break up the Democratic Party.
Encouraged by podcast and event host Jason Kalakanis, who is raising funds to help Musk acquire Twitter, Tesla’s chief executive said: “The Democratic Party is overly controlled by unions and litigation lawyers, especially class action lawyers.”
On the social platform, Musk has often insulted and talked to elected Democrats, including Biden, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ron Widen, and rap. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
In contrast, he tends to engage in friendly and non-confrontational ways with right-wing elected officials such as GOP representative Lauren Bobert and far-right personalities including Stephen Crowder, Dinesh D’Souza and other.
Crowder, the host of a podcast posing as a comedian, was once stopped by YouTube for violating the Hate Speech Platform’s policies after commenting on trance people. He was also condemned by Asian American Journalists Association after he remarked on a broadcast journalist at KPIX in San Francisco who they consider racist and sexist.
D’Souza, a conservative commentator, has been creating videos and books for years that contain hyperbolic criticism of Democratic leaders. He pleaded guilty in 2014 to violating campaign finance laws and was later pardoned by President Donald Trump. D’Souza was not invited to the CPAC’s annual conservative conference in 2018 after mocking the survivors of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Musk also said he would restore Trump on Twitter.
Twitter finally removed the former president from the platform in January 2021 after an attack by his supporters on the US Capitol. The company said it made the decision after the January 6 riot “because of the risk of further incitement to violence”.