Gov. Ron DeSantis says he ‘welcomes support from African Americans’ after Elon Musk endorsement
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has offered a response to outspoken admirer Elon Musk after the Tesla CEO said he would support the conservative in a possible presidential run.
Speaking at a conference in Madeira Beach on Wednesday, DeSantis commented on the news of Musk’s potential backing with a joke that played up the billionaire’s South African heritage.
“I’m focused on 2022, but I welcome support from African Americans,” the conservative joked to a reporter.
The well-timed comment sparked laughter from the crowd and fueled the fervor surrounding rumors of DeSantis’ presidential aspirations.
Speaking at a conference in Madeira Beach on Wednesday, Ron DeSantis commented on the news of Musk’s potential backing with a joke that mocked the billionaire’s South African heritage.
Hours earlier, Musk had announced that he was leaning toward DeSantis as a potential president, after being asked about his preferences regarding who should be the next head of state.
Musk, who has described himself as moderate in recent years but has shown a shift towards conservatism in recent months, made his political allegiance clear in a barrage of tweets early Wednesday.
Musk kicked off his social media spiel by revealing that he voted red for the first time on Tuesday, casting a vote for new Texas congressman Maya Flores.
The richest man in the world further touted the win as a win, predicting a massive red wave in the upcoming midterm elections in November.
“I voted for Mayra Flores, the first time I voted Republican,” Musk wrote.
The mogul added: “Massive red wave in 2022.”
When asked who he would support in 2024, the tech billionaire replied simply, “DeSantis.”
Musk was also asked what he thought of Andrew Yang, who ran in the Democratic Party presidential primaries in 2020. He said, “I supported Yang last time, but DeSantis is more likely to win.”
A follower also asked, “Is this the first time this has happened…where you’re receiving massive amounts of hatred from the top Democratic leaders?”
The Tesla CEO answered ‘yes’.
Hours earlier, Elon Musk had announced he was leaning towards DeSantis as a potential president, after being asked about his preferences regarding the next head of state.
Musk, who has described himself as moderate in recent years but has shown a shift to conservatism in recent months, made his political allegiance clear in a barrage of tweets early Wednesday, where he revealed that he would make his first appearance on Tuesday. Republican voted
The unexpected endorsement came as DeSantis increasingly emerged as a central figure in the ongoing culture wars between the waking left and those of other political ideologies.
DeSantis, a conservative known for his anti-woke political policies, has yet to announce a White House bid for 2024, but is widely believed to be considering it.
He came under fire earlier this year for signing the Parental Rights Act banning public schools from teaching gender identity and sexual orientation topics to children under 10. — who called the left the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.”
In the meantime, Musk, a staunch libertarian and businessman who has seen his wealth grow during the pandemic, has shown a shift to the political right, having previously been heralded by progressives as a new, hipper kind of businessman.
Musk was also asked what he thought of Andrew Yang, who ran in the Democratic Party presidential primaries in 2020. He said: ‘I supported Yang last time, but DeSantis is more likely to win’
On Wednesday, Musk, who has historically supported both Democrats and Republicans, tweeted, “I’m thinking about creating a “Super Moderate Super PAC” that supports candidates with centrist views of all parties.”
Musk’s shifting political views came into the limelight in April, after he announced his intention to buy a majority stake in Twitter for an astonishing $44 billion.
His offer to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share was made public on April 14.
He has since said the deal is on hold, arguing — without providing evidence — that there are too many automated accounts for the deal to go through.
Towards the end of the month, Musk hinted that his political sentiment had shifted to the right in the past 14 years, posting a meme depicting a moderate liberal being driven into the arms of conservatives.
The image showed a stick figure labeled ‘I’ standing still relative to another labeled ‘conservative’, as the figure at the ‘liberal’ end of the spectrum moves ever further to the left.
Musk kicked off his social media spiel by revealing that he voted red for the first time on Tuesday, in honor of new Texas Congresswoman Maya Flores (pictured)
On the last diagram, dubbed 2021, the “I” figure is to the right of the centerline — as the Conservatives chuckle and the Liberal — now referred to as “awake progressive” — accuses the Centrist of bigotry.
Many Democrats and Liberals are concerned that Musk’s take on Twitter will allow for the spread of more misinformation on the platform.
Meanwhile, GOP politicians and those on the more right-wing have hailed his potential takeover as a victory for free speech.
Some Republican figures are hopeful they may see GOP accounts reinstated on the platform, having previously been banned — most notably President Donald Trump’s.
Those hopes were dashed, however, when Musk announced that his takeover had been delayed a week later, citing concerns about fake accounts on Twitter.
Musk then further shocked the world when he announced he would switch political allegiances and vote for the Republican party in the next election due to liberal bias at the San Francisco company.
Speaking via video link at a tech summit in Miami, Florida in May hosted by the All-In podcast, Musk confirmed he would change his voice.
“The reality is that Twitter right now, you know, has a very left-wing bias,” Musk told attendees. “I would classify myself as a moderate, neither Republican nor Democrat.”
Musk went on to claim that he has ‘overwhelming’ vote for Democrats in the past.
“I voted overwhelmingly for Democrats historically. As if I’m not sure, I may never have voted for a Republican, just to be clear,” Musk said.
He then declared, ‘Now this election I will.’
Speaking via video link at a tech summit in Miami in May (pictured), hosted by the All-In podcast, Musk confirmed he would change his vote from Democrat to Republican
Insider reported that he did not clarify whether he meant voting for the eventual Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential election, or for a GOP candidate in the upcoming November midterm elections.
Musk, the CEO of Tesla and founder of SpaceX, has a net worth of nearly $209 billion — $86 billion than the world’s next richest man, Jeff Bezos.
For a man so wealthy, Musk’s history of political donations in DeSantis’ Florida is somewhat sparse — not to mention ambiguous.
In 2014, he donated identical amounts of $2,500 to each of the men running for governor that year: Democrat Charlie Crist and then-GOP Governor Rick Scott.
In 2010, he gave Democratic U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz $1,000 in 2010.
In 2006, Musk donated at least $5,000 to Democrat Senator Bill Nelson, also of Florida.
He has also given Republican Senator Marco Rubio at least $15,200 over the years.
Meanwhile, Musk seems to adore DeSantis — an increasingly popular political figure who has been compared to former President Trump for having no-nonsense policies, but without the legal and political baggage synonymous with the outspoken New Yorker.
Last year, Musk tweeted that he had talked to DeSantis about digging tunnels under Miami to help improve traffic congestion.
DeSantis, meanwhile, has expressed support for Musk’s Twitter bid.
In April, he called the pending transaction “a good deal for shareholders” and said it “increases the prospect that the platform will be a place where free speech can thrive, not a story-enforcement tool.”