Elon Musk spent Wednesday on Twitter, announcing his political switch from Democrat to Republican, trashing a socially conscious investing trend and replying to users of the social media website he’s agreed to buy.
The world’s richest man declared in a tweet Wednesday that he is switching to the GOP.
“In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party,” he wrote. “But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican.”
The tweet followed comments this week in which he lobbed criticism at President Biden’s administration, saying that it “doesn’t get a lot done.” Musk has also expressed dismay at Biden’s reluctance to acknowledge Tesla’s prominence in the electric vehicle industry; Tesla was not invited to an August 2021 event at the White House promoting electric vehicles.
Musk has donated to candidates and political committees of both parties, but his giving has leaned more to Republicans in the last year. He has used his massive Twitter following to attack Democratic lawmakers, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, all of whom have advocated higher taxes on billionaires.
Since announcing his bid to buy Twitter and promise to make it more of a “free speech” platform — including restoring access to former President Trump — Musk has become something of a hero for segments of the Republican Party. Conservatives praised his $44-billion bid to take Twitter private, saying that he would eliminate the biases that they contend social media companies have against them.
GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, who represents Musk’s new home state of Texas, tweeted last month that Musk’s purchase of Twitter “is the most important development for free speech in decades.”
Musk said that it was “flat out stupid” for the platform to ban Trump after his supporters raided the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Also on Wednesday, Musk tweeted that environmental, social and governance investing, or ESG, was “a scam” after Tesla lost its spot on an S&P Global index that tracks companies on their ESG standards. He also predicted that “political attacks” on him would “escalate dramatically in coming months.”
Tesla shares, meanwhile, sank to their lowest level this year, wiping $12.3 billion from his wealth, while Twitter further extended its slide. All told, Musk has lost $49 billion since launching his bid for Twitter last month, partly as the wider market tumbled and as some investors in Tesla grew concerned over how he’d fund his offer for the social media giant. Recently, Musk has said the deal is “on hold” while he confirms Twitter’s internal data on the prevalence of bots.
He remains the world’s richest person, with a fortune of $209.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He’s had $60.4 billion shaved off his wealth this year, trailing only Binance Chief Executive Changpeng Zhao, whose net worth is down $81 billion, and Jeff Bezos, whose fortune fell $62 billion.