Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk says he has no current plans to fund a Republican super PAC within the upcoming U.S. elections, including any who oppose President Joe Biden in 2024.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO, who’s listed by Forbes because the wealthiest person on this planet, told CNBC in an email that he’s ruled out funding such an outdoor group. Super PACs can spend and lift unlimited amounts of cash to campaign against their opponents, often making them key vehicles for the ultrarich who prefer to greater than dabble in politics. Forbes says his net value is over $218 billion. Musk is amongst a gaggle of business leaders who’ve publicly feuded with Biden and his administration.
“I haven’t any plans to create a brilliant PAC,” said Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, when asked if he plans to create his own campaign fund to oust Biden within the presidential contest. “No super PAC anything happening,” when pressed on any plans for the November midterms.
Tech executives reminiscent of Sam Bankman-Fried and Peter Thiel have given at the least $35 million, combined, to super PACs thus far within the 2022 election cycle, in accordance with FEC records. Thiel and Musk are a part of the so called “PayPal Mafia,” a gaggle of executives who helped launch PayPal, the financial tech company.
Musk said twice this week that he plans to vote for Republicans in upcoming elections, regardless that he says he previously voted for Democrats reminiscent of former President Barack Obama.
He told CNBC in February that “Biden has pointedly ignored Tesla at every turn.” White House officials announced in April that they held a gathering with Musk and other auto executives, including GM CEO Mary Barra, about electric vehicles.
But Musk has continued to blast Biden despite that recent meeting.
He didn’t reply to follow up emails when asked whether he plans to donate or campaign for any candidates or issues within the upcoming elections, including whether he plans to donate on to a GOP candidate’s campaign for president, use his Twitter account as a bully pulpit against Biden and the Democrats going forward or use his extensive network of business allies to boost money for the eventual Republican nominee for president.
Musk could also fund a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that would take aim at Biden’s policies throughout the midterms and into the 2024 election. Those varieties of groups don’t require to publicly disclose their donors, and thus allow billionaires like Musk to stay anonymous.
While Musk has said that he “would like to remain out of politics,” his campaign donations, company lobbying efforts and tweets to his hundreds of thousands of followers show the other is true.
His previous political donations have been evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, though Federal Election Commission records show his most up-to-date contribution got here last 12 months to the Republican National Committee. Musk gave almost $40,000 to the Republican political motion committee Protect The House, a PAC that was meant to guard the GOP majority throughout the 2018 midterms. The Republicans ended up losing their majority within the House that cycle. Tesla and SpaceX spent greater than $450,000, combined, in lobbying throughout the first quarter of 2022 alone, in accordance with federal disclosure reports.
Distancing himself from funding a brilliant PAC, particularly one targeting Biden given Musk’s criticism of the president, indicates that Republicans cannot depend on his support within the upcoming elections this 12 months and in 2024, some political strategists say.
Most of those people declined to be named out of fear Musk could use his Twitter account against them.
One Republican strategist said Musk was “an excessive amount of of a loose cannon” to rely on. “Someday he supports you, the following, who knows,” this person said.
Neither Musk nor Amazon founder Jeff Bezos tend “to place money behind their statements on this area,” said one political consultant in Silicon Valley who counts each billionaires as friends. Bezos also has publicly taken aim on the administration for its stance on inflation. Forbes ranks Bezos because the third wealthiest person on this planet, with a net value of over $130 billion.
Musk is within the midst of attempting to buy Twitter, with the unique bid value at over $40 billion. The deal has to receive regulatory approval, while Musk has hinted he could attempt to put the deal on hold until he has more clarity on what number of Twitter accounts are fake. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Musk’s late disclosure of his stake in Twitter. The Journal has also previously reported that the agency is investigating Musk and his brother, Kimbal, for Tesla stock sales.
Former President Donald Trump, who Musk has said he would allow back onto the platform after Twitter permanently banned him, has not ruled out running against Biden in 2024. Trump has said that he doesn’t need to return to Twitter and can remain on his social media platform, Truth Social.
Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh says that, for Democrats, not having Musk fund a brilliant PAC should only give them just a little relief, since the billionaire might be on the point of controlling Twitter, an already big mouthpiece for him and possibly for Trump, if he returns to the social media platform throughout the presidential election cycle.
“Who needs a brilliant PAC when you may hand Twitter to Trump?” Marsh told CNBC. “If Musk owns Twitter, then allows Trump to return then that is value billions to his campaign.”