Elon Musk ditches Democrats, says he will support Republicans but not GOP super PACs

Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition March 9, 2020, in Washington. Once a supporter of Democratic political candidates, Musk now says the party has morphed from “kindness” to “division and hate” and he will throw his support behind Republicans.

Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition March 9, 2020, in Washington. Once a supporter of Democratic political candidates, Musk now says the party has morphed from “kindness” to “division and hate” and he will throw his support behind Republicans. (Susan Walsh, Associated Press)



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Once an outspoken supporter of Democratic political candidates, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk now says the party has morphed from "kindness" to "division and hate" and he will throw his support behind Republicans.

Musk revealed his political about-face in a Wednesday tweet along with a prediction that his change of heart will make him the target of a future campaign of "dirty tricks" by Democratic Party members. Following the declaration, Tesla stock fell by nearly 7% on Wednesday.

What's the story? The 50-year-old billionaire and world's richest person has a pending offer to buy Twitter for $44 billion, but put the deal on hold earlier this week over his concerns about the number of fake accounts on the popular social media platform.

Last week, Musk said he would reverse Twitter's ban on former U.S. President Donald Trump, a Republican, when he buys the company. He also said Twitter is far-left-biased because it is headquartered in California, a state known for its progressive politics.

But, while Musk declared he would begin supporting Republican candidates, he told CNBC that support would not include sharing his considerable wealth with GOP super PACs.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO, who is listed by Forbes as the wealthiest person in the world, told CNBC in an email that he's ruled out funding such an outside group. Super PACs can spend and raise unlimited amounts of money to campaign against their opponents, often making them key vehicles for the ultrarich who like to more than dabble in politics. Forbes says his net worth is over $218 billion. Musk is among a group of business leaders who have publicly feuded with Biden and his administration.

"I have no plans to create a super PAC," Musk told CNBC when asked if he plans to create his own campaign fund to oust Biden in the presidential contest. "No super PAC anything going on," when pressed on any plans for the November midterms.

However, Musk did not respond to CNBC follow-up questions about whether he plans to donate or campaign for any candidates or issues in the upcoming elections, including whether he plans to donate directly to a GOP candidate's campaign for president.

Troll time: Tweets mocking Musk as being "poor Elon" were trending on Twitter, sparking his mother Maye Musk to weigh in with her own tweet to defend her son, according to Reuters.

"Poor Elon might only be the 2nd or 3rd richest man in the world now," one Twitter user said.

"Poor Elon. No liberals are going to buy his cars anymore, when there's so many nicer options," another said.

Musk's mother criticized some tweets for "nasty comments" and alleged they were "troll or bot," referring to fake accounts.

Musk followed up with a tweet on Thursday claiming the vitriol that followed his party-switching tweet was proof that his decision was "spot on."

Musk vs. Biden: Musk has become increasingly critical of Democratic President Joe Biden, who he has accused of snubbing his electric car company Tesla. He has also moved his home and company headquarters from California to Texas, where, unlike the Golden State, there is no state income tax, per the Guardian.

Musk has also long faced scrutiny from federal regulators and is reportedly being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for not reporting his 5% stake in Twitter soon enough, the Wall Street Journal reported. And he was previously penalized by the SEC over 2018 tweets in which he said he had "secured funding" to take Tesla private.

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Art Raymond

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