Elon Musk has said he would support Donald Trump’s arch rival, Ron DeSantis, in 2024 if the Florida governor were to run for president.
“Yes”, Musk said in a tweet when asked if he would support DeSantis in 2024, after suggesting he had not found his ideal candidate among Democrats.
“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,” Musk tweeted.
The entrepreneur’s remarks are the clearest sign of his political backing after he indicated in June this year that he was still mulling his Republican preference for president but that he was “leaning towards” DeSantis.
The move may prove a boost for DeSantis in what Republicans expect to be a bruising battle between Trump and DeSantis for presidential nomination, with some predicting “a lot of blood on the floor” in a fight between the two. The Florida governor won a landslide in this month’s midterm elections, while Trump was criticised for the Republicans’ failure to deliver the much-promised “red wave” after the defeat of key candidates he endorsed.
Musk also said on Friday night that he was “fine with Trump not tweeting” after having his account reinstated last weekend. “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.”
Twitter banned Trump after the January 6 attack last year, saying his posts were “highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the US Capitol”. Trump was also banned from Facebook, Instagram and YouTube after the riot.
Musk’s tenure at Twitter has been turbulent, with the owner admitting that Twitter has suffered a “massive” drop in advertising revenue amid concerns about his plans for moderating content on the platform, including the fate of banned accounts.
He has told Twitter employees that “roughly half” of the platform’s revenues need to come from subscriptions in order to “survive the upcoming economic downturn”. According to Twitter’s last set of annual results, advertising accounted for 90% of its $5.1bn in revenues.