Sunday, Mar 26, 2023

Twitter owner Musk endorses Republicans in US midterms

Twitter owner Musk endorses Republicans in US midterms

His tweet to his more than 110 million followers is the first instance of an explicit endorsement by the head of a major social media platform.

Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, threw his weight behind Republicans ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections in the United States, saying they could use control of Congress to act as a balance against President Joe Biden’s Democrats.

The world’s richest person, Musk has faced criticism from some groups who believe his absolutist stance on free speech will increase misinformation on Twitter. Some advertisers have pulled spending from the platform, with Musk blaming critics concerned about content moderation.

His tweet to more than 110 million followers on Monday represented the first time the head of a major social media platform explicitly endorsed a US political party.

Musk, also CEO of Tesla, has been critical of the Biden administration and Democrats for their proposals to tax billionaires and give more tax incentives to union-made electric vehicles. Tesla does not have unions at its US factories.

He directed his Twitter message to what he called “independent-minded voters”, writing: “Shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties, therefore I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, given that the presidency is Democratic.”

Later, he added, “I’m open to the idea of voting Democrat again in the future”, and said he had historically been an independent who had voted for Democrats.

Republicans are favoured to win a majority in the House of Representatives in Tuesday’s elections, with the Senate rated a toss-up by nonpartisan election forecasters. They could use a majority in either chamber to bring Biden’s legislative agenda to a halt and launch potentially politically damaging investigations into Biden’s administration and family.

Kyle Kondik, from the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said it was unlikely Musk’s words would influence the election’s outcome.

“It’s hard to expect any sort of celebrity ‘endorsement’, as this basically is, to have much if any effect on voter behaviour,” Kondik said.

The White House declined to comment on Musk’s tweet.

Musk, who frequently comments on US politics, previously said he would vote for Republicans but backs moderates of both major political parties.

He has said he was leaning towards supporting Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis for president in 2024 and that former President Donald Trump, who sources said is likely to launch another White House run in coming days, was too old to serve as president again.

Asked about Musk’s comments, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said: “The president has often spoken about the importance of voting, and I’m just going to leave it there as to not get involved in any kind of election conversation.”

Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich described Musk’s comments as “very encouraging”.

New line for social media execs

Musk is not alone among social media executives in taking open political stances.

For instance, Sheryl Sandberg, former chief operating officer of Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc, has donated heavily to progressive candidates and endorsed Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Like other executives, however, Sandberg stopped short of explicitly telling her followers how to vote and took pains to keep a distance between her personal leanings and her management of the company’s platforms.

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has voiced a sense of alienation from both Republican and Democratic politics, while Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife donated to two nonprofits that distributed grants to state and local governments to help them conduct elections.

Musk bought Twitter last month. In one of his first acts, the company laid off about half its employees and flagged a drop in advertisement revenue. But the company’s head of safety and integrity said the platform’s content moderation capabilities remained in place.

In a statement to the Reuters news agency, Jessica Gonzalez, co-CEO of Free Press, an advocacy group for media issues in democracy, said Musk’s comment showed he “is not showing himself to be an even-keeled CEO that advertisers can trust”.

Last year, Tesla, which counts California as its biggest US market, moved its headquarters from the Pacific coast state to the more conservative state of Texas. Musk also moved his personal residence from California to Texas, where there is no state income tax.

In April, Musk said on Twitter he believes that for the platform “to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally”.

Federal authorities are investigating Musk over his conduct in acquiring Twitter, the company said in a court filing last month. The US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission have not commented on any potential probes.


Related Articles

Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Bordeaux town hall set on fire in France pro democracy protest
Police violence in Paris
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
Drew Barrymore
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
Lady bites police officer and gets instantly reaction
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Senator Tom Cotton: If the Mexican Government Won’t Stop Cartels from Killing Americans, Then U.S. Government Should
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
Givenchy Store in New York Robbed of $50,000 in Merchandise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
Kamala Harris: "The United States has formally determined that Russia has committed crimes against humanity."
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History
White House: No ETs over the United States
U.S. Jet Shoots Down Flying Object Over Canada
Nord Stream terror attack: David Sacks breaks down Sy Hersh's story
Being a Tiktoker might be expensive…
Miracle: El Salvador Search and Rescue teams, with the support of Turkish teams, rescued a woman and a child from the rubble 150 hours after the earthquake
SpaceX, the private space exploration company, made a significant breakthrough in their mission to reach space.
China's top tech firms, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, NetEase, and, are developing their own versions of Open AI's AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT
This shocking picture, showing how terrible is the results of the earthquake in Turkey
President Joe Biden delivered the 2023 State of the Union Address , in order to help Americans that missed the 2022 speech, do not have internet, and suffer from short memory.