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Elon Musk confirms he WILL switch to vote Republican

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 18/05/2022 Chris Jewers For Mailonline

Elon Musk has confirmed that he will switch political allegiances and vote for the Republican party in the next election, after casting his ballot 'overwhelmingly' for the Democrat party in the past.

The world's richest man, who was born in South African and holds US citizenship, is registered as an independent voter and describes himself as a moderate.

However, in recent years - and particularly while publicly discussing his on-hold $44 billion takeover of social media company Twitter Inc. - the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has demonstrated he is leaning more towards the political right.

Speaking via video link at a tech summit in Miami, Florida on Monday, hosted by the All-In podcast, Musk confirmed he would be changing his vote.

'The reality is that Twitter at this point, you know, has a very far left bias,' Musk told attendees. 'I would classify myself as a moderate, neither Republican nor Democrat.

'I have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, historically. Like I'm not sure, I might never have voted for a Republican, just to be clear,' Musk continued, adding: 'Now this election I will.'  

Speaking via video link at a tech summit in Miami on Monday (pictured), hosted by the All-In podcast, Musk confirmed he would be changing his vote from Democrat to Republican  © Provided by Daily Mail Speaking via video link at a tech summit in Miami on Monday (pictured), hosted by the All-In podcast, Musk confirmed he would be changing his vote from Democrat to Republican 

Insider reported that he did not clarify whether he meant he would vote for the eventual Republican candidate during the 2024 presidential election, or for a GOP candidate in the up-coming November mid-terms.

Musk's political views have been thrust into the spotlight since he announced his intention to purchase Twitter. His offer to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share was made public on April 14. 

He has since said the deal is on hold, arguing - without presenting evidence - that there are too many automated accounts for the $44 billion deal to move ahead.

Experts have said Musk's sharp turnaround makes little sense except as a method to scuttle or renegotiate a deal that's becoming increasingly costly for him.

Despite the uncertainty over the deal, Musk still discussed his intentions for the platform at the event on Monday.

He said that his purchase of twitter would not be the 'right-wing takeover as people on the left may fear,' saying instead it would be a 'moderate wing takeover'.

Musk said that if the deal is completed, he would revamp the platform so that 'people of all political beliefs feel welcome on a digital town square. He said he wanted Twitter's users to be able to speak freely without fear of being banned.

The billionaire emphasized the importance of free speech, which he said 'actually matters' when 'someone you don't like is saying something you don't like.'

The world's richest man, who was born in South African and holds US citizenship, is registered as an independent voter and describes himself as a moderate  © Provided by Daily Mail The world's richest man, who was born in South African and holds US citizenship, is registered as an independent voter and describes himself as a moderate  Musk did not clarify whether he meant he would vote for the eventual Republican candidate during the 2024 presidential election, or for a GOP candidate in the up-coming November mid-terms. Pictured: Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on May 6 © Provided by Daily Mail Musk did not clarify whether he meant he would vote for the eventual Republican candidate during the 2024 presidential election, or for a GOP candidate in the up-coming November mid-terms. Pictured: Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on May 6

'I mean, I get trashed by the media all the time,' Musk told the Miami conference. 'That's fine. I don't care, good. Do it twice as much, I couldn't care less.' 


Video: 'Hard to know' Elon Musk's 'motivation' in Twitter deal (Sky News Australia)

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He acknowledged that while he has huge personal resources, he does not 'actually have the ability to stop the media from trashing me. And that's a good thing,' he said.

At the end of April, Musk hinted his political sentiment had shifted rightward over the past 14 years, by posting a meme showing a moderate liberal driven into the arms of conservatives.

The image depicted a stick figure labeled 'me' remaining stationary relative to another labeled 'conservative', as the figure at the 'liberal' end of the spectrum moves further and further to the left.

By the final diagram, labeled 2021, the 'me' figure is to the right of the center line - as the conservative chuckles and the liberal - now labeled 'woke progressive' - accuses the centrist of bigotry.

Many Democrats and liberals are concerned that Musk's vision for Twitter will allow for the spread of more misinformation on the platform.

Meanwhile, GOP politicians and those that are more right-leaning have hailed his potential takeover as a victory for free speech.

Some Republican figures are hopeful that they may see GOP accounts reinstated on the platform, having been previously banned - such as the Twitter account belonging to former President Donald Trump.

However, those hopes were stifled when Musk announced that his takeover had been put on hold, citing concerns over fake accounts on Twitter.

Elon Musk hinted last month that his political sentiment has shifted rightward over the past 14 years, by posting this meme showing a moderate liberal driven into the arms of conservatives © Provided by Daily Mail Elon Musk hinted last month that his political sentiment has shifted rightward over the past 14 years, by posting this meme showing a moderate liberal driven into the arms of conservatives

Early Tuesday, Musk tweeted that his deal to buy the company can't 'move forward' unless the company shows public proof that fewer than 5% of the accounts on the social media platform are fake or spam bots. 

That followed Musk's Friday tweet that the deal was on hold pending more bot details - after which Twitter shares plunged by nearly 10%.

At the Miami conference, he suggested he wanted a lower price for the company. 

While such hardball tactics aren't uncommon in corporate mergers, the way this is playing out - in a highly public, seemingly erratic conversation on the very platform Musk wants to buy - has little precedent.

Which means that Musk is negotiating the future of Twitter ... on Twitter.

It's increasingly clear that Musk realizes his offer was too high and is looking for a way 'to potentially walk away or negotiate the price down,' said Brian Quinn, an associate law professor at Boston College.

Experts say Musk can't unilaterally place the deal on hold, although that hasn't stopped him from acting as though he can. If he walks away, he could be on the hook for a $1 billion breakup fee.

Musk also spent much of Monday in a Twitter back-and-forth with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who posted a series of tweets explaining his company's effort to fight bots and how it has consistently estimated that less than 5% of Twitter accounts are fake. In one tweet, Musk responded with a poop emoji.

Twitter has disclosed its bot estimates to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for years, while also cautioning that its estimate might be too low.

In his tweet Tuesday, Musk said that '20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be much higher. My offer was based on Twitter's SEC filings being accurate.' He added: 'Yesterday, Twitter's CEO publicly refused to show proof of 5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.'

None of that makes sense, Quinn said. Not only has Twitter disclosed the uncertainty of its estimates for years, he said, 'the company gave him the opportunity to engage in due diligence and kick the tires and look around.' Musk did not take up that offer.

When approached by the Associated Press Twitter declined to comment. 

The company said in a statement filed with the SEC on Tuesday that it is 'committed to completing the transaction on the agreed price and terms as promptly as practicable.'

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