Elon Musk said Friday night that he would support Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, if he ran for president in 2024.
Musk, in a series of Twitter exchanges, elaborated somewhat on his political views, saying, “My preference for the 2024 presidency is someone sensible and centrist. I had hoped that would the case for the Biden administration, but have been disappointed so far.”
He called himself a “significant supporter of the Obama-Biden presidency and (reluctantly) voted for Biden over Trump.”
When one of the people he was tweeting with asked if he’d back DeSantis in the next presidential election, Musk responded: “Yes.”
Musk bought Twitter Inc. nearly a month ago and last weekend reinstated the Twitter account of former President Donald Trump, who has announced another run for the White House. Trump, whose account was suspended shortly after the assault on the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, has yet to post any new tweets.
“I’m fine with Trump not tweeting,” Musk said on Twitter Friday night. “The important thing is that Twitter correct a grave mistake in banning his account, despite no violation of the law or terms of service. Deplatforming a sitting President undermined public trust in Twitter for half of America.”
Musk said in June that he was leaning toward a DeSantis endorsement, and the two men have exchanged acclaim for one another.
Musk’s expression of support comes as many party leaders, including onetime Trump allies, have been talking up DeSantis as a more desirable standard bearer than the former president in the next election. The Florida governor won a resounding re-election victory in the Nov. 8 election, even as many of the Republican candidates championed by Trump went down to defeat.
Musk, who’s also the chief executive officer of Tesla Inc. and SpaceX, hasn’t made a federal political donation since 2020. He also has not contributed to DeSantis’s campaigns for governor.
After Musk restored Trump’s Twitter account, civil rights leaders urged major advertisers to stay away from the social media platform. The activists said Musk broke promises he made to them in a closed-door meeting about hate speech and misinformation.
Trump is obligated to make most social media posts on Truth Social, the platform he launched after his Twitter ban, first, according to a filing, although there’s an exception for political messages.
--With assistance from Bill Allison.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.