Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he would vote for Republican candidates in the upcoming 2022 midterm election. According to the Washington Examiner, the announcement comes as a break from Musk's usual Democrat-leanings.
The reach across the political aisle from Musk comes after the Space X CEO condemned Twitter for its "very far-Left bias." In the past, however, he has also criticized the Republican Party for falling victim to "corporate evil and religious zealotry." According to a Huffington Post interview, Musk said, in the past, he has donated to both the Democrat and Republican parties. But he questioned in a recent interview if he had ever actually voted for a Republican.
During an appearance on the "All-In" podcast on Monday, Musk said, "I have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats historically — overwhelmingly. Like, I'm not sure, I might never have voted for a Republican, just to be clear."
But, he highlights, "now, this election, I will."
The announcement comes as Musk has recently expressed that his $44 billion bid to buy Twitter would not "move forward" until the company can pin down how many bots and fake spam accounts operate on the platform.
"We obviously need to get rid of the bots and scams and trolls and people that are operating huge bot armies in an attempt to unduly influence the public opinion," Musk said.
"Free speech is important," he continued. "For a healthy democracy, it is important. Like, say, when does free speech matter most? It's when it's someone you don't like saying something you don't like."
Citing his principled approach to free speech, Musk highlighted that he gets "trashed by the media all the time."
The potential social media platform owner, who has maintained that his purchase of Twitter was to uphold the digital town square, vowed to lift Twitter's harsher censorship decisions and restore banned accounts if the deal comes to fruition. Most notably, Musk said he would restore the account of former President Donald Trump, but Trump has insisted he would not return to the platform, opting instead for his own social media platform, Truth Social.
"The point," Musk says, he's "trying to make is that this is not some sort of attempt to, it's not some right-wing takeover as, say, people on the Left may fear."
Instead, he adds, this bid is a "moderate-wing takeover in an attempt to ensure that people of all political beliefs feel welcome on a digital town square."
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