Elon Musk basically confirmed today that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is set to announce his candidacy for the 2024 U.S. presidential election on Twitter tomorrow in an interview with the platform’s owner himself.
Asked at a conference today about news reports to that effect, Musk said: “So we are interviewing Ron DeSantis, and he has quite an announcement to make. And it will be the very first time that something like this is happening on social media, and with real time questions and answers, not scripted. So let’s see what happens.”
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“I am interested in Twitter being something of a public town square… It is the only place to get real-time, down-to-the minute and second,” he said during a webcast interview at the Wall Street Journal CEO Forum in London.
DeSantis is probably most known right now (and generally not in a good way) for his ongoing bitter fight with the Walt Disney Company, a war of words that’s escalated to legal battle that could reach the Supreme Court. The Florida legislature and the governor removed the media giant’s privileges under a long-standing special development district after the company spoke out against legislation that critics dub “Don’t Say Gay.” The Walt Disney World parent says the Governor — who has vowed never to back down — is retaliating for its free speech and has sued. Plenty of pro-business Republicans are surprised he’d pick a fight with the state’s biggest private employer and largest taxpayer. Some think the Disney brawl has really diminished his chances against Donald Trump — something that will become clearer once he’s actually in the race.
Musk didn’t comment on the Disney situation. Asked whom he might consider backing in the presidential race, the entrepreneur was noncommittal. “I’m not at this time [going] to endorse any particular candidate,” but again, “I think it’s quite a promising breakthrough that there’d be a major announcement of this type on social media.” He said he’d plan to interview other candidates across the political spectrum — ranging from sort of, on the left, moderate to what’s right. “And I do think it’s important that Twitter be … a level playing field, a place where all voices are heard, and where there’s the kind of dynamic interaction that you don’t really see anywhere else. I mean, today on Twitter, for example. AOC and Ted Cruz got into an argument, which, independent of which side you agree with, it’s very entertaining.”
Musk said he along with the most of the rest of the country would like someone “fairly normal” to win the presidency, although campaigns tend to turn hard right or left during the primaries.
“I’d really just like someone fairly normal to be the president. That’d be great,” he said. He declined to opine on the normalcy of any particular candidate so far.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO also talked about Twitter’s new CEO Linda Yaccarino, and whether he still regrets buying Twitter. “All’s well that ends well,” he said regarding the tortured $44 billion acquisition last fall that he had tried to walk away from.
More to come…
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