Elon Musk has said twice this week that he plans to vote for Republicans in the next election, even though he says he has already voted for Democrats such as former President Barack Obama.
Musk’s stated political leanings will come as no surprise to people who follow the famed CEO’s interactions and proclamations on Twitter and elsewhere.
Behind the scenes, Musk and his biggest companies, SpaceX and Tesla, have worked for years to influence the American political landscape through lobbying and political donations. Together, SpaceX and Tesla spent more than $2 million on lobbying in 2021. They tend to spend on both sides of the aisle.
But Musk has always been anti-union, opposed to the billionaire tax and is a vocal critic of President Joe Biden.
Meanwhile, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, said in a September interview with CNBC that Musk approved of his red state social policies, which included tough restrictions on abortion, bans on books that called for the removal of LGBTQ memoirs from the school curriculum or libraries and investigations of abuse in families seeking gender-affirming care for transgender children.
On Wednesday, Musk wrote on Twitter:
“In the past, I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party. But they have become the party of division and hatred, so I can no longer support them and I will vote Republican. Now watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold…” adding a movie popcorn emoji for emphasis.
The tweet followed earlier statements at the All In Summit in Miami on Monday, where Elon Musk accused Twitter of having a strong left-wing bias, saying during a podcast recording, “I would class myself as a moderate, nor Republican or Democrat. In fact, I’ve voted overwhelmingly for Democrats historically. Overwhelmingly. I might never have voted Republican. Now, this election? I will do it.”
Musk called his pending $44 billion acquisition of Twitter a “soft takeover” of the platform, not a right-wing takeover. But then he attacked the Democratic Party.
Boosted by podcast and event host Jason Calacanis, who is raising money to help Musk acquire Twitter, the Tesla CEO said, “The Democratic Party is too controlled by unions and trial attorneys, especially class action lawyers”.
On the social platform, Musk frequently insulted and trashed elected Democrats, including Biden, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
On the other hand, he tends to engage in a friendly and non-confrontational way with right-wing elected officials like Lauren Boebert and far-right figures, including Steven Crowder, Dinesh D’Souza and others.
He also said he would reinstate former President Donald Trump on Twitter.
Twitter permanently suspended Trump from the platform in January 2021 following an attack by his followers on the US Capitol. The company said it made the decision following the January 6 riot “due to the risk of further incitement to violence”.