Elon Musk's tweets can elicit an earthquake of emotions, in the U.S. or anywhere on the world stage.
Those who remain skeptical of the influence of the CEO of electric-vehicle manufacturer Tesla (TSLA) need only look at the mayhem prompted by his Aug. 17 message in which he said he was buying the legendary English soccer club Manchester United.
Manchester United fans took to social media to give the world's richest man a warm welcome.
Even though the tech tycoon four hours later tweeted that he was joking, the stir his post did not die down. The debate over the future of Manchester United, currently owned by the Glazer family, has begun as the English club, accustomed to trophies, is currently at the bottom of the English Premier League.
Musk Says He's a Moderate
Musk, with 103.5 million followers on Twitter, seems well aware of his influence. The man who aims to conquer Mars has just clarified his place on the political chessboard as the midterm U.S. elections in November approach.
In mid-June, he said that he had voted Republican for the first time, in a local election in Texas, where he has resided since late 2021. He said he also would vote Republican in November and is expecting a red wave.
For the 2024 presidential election, Musk said he would back the Republican governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, if he runs. The billionaire has pledged to personally spend $20 million to $25 million to support his favored candidate.
These statements raised the ire of the Democratic Party's left wing, which seems not to understand that the billionaire is trying to influence Republicans who underestimate the urgency of acting against climate change. Musk and Tesla, the world leader in electric vehicles, are all about fighting climate change.
At the same time, on several occasions Musk has accused liberals of being unduly influenced by the unions. The billionaire is indeed antiunion and a vocal critic of President Joe Biden.
"The degree to which the unions control the Dems is insane. It’s like watching a sock puppet 'talk', but the hand inside the sock is way too obvious!" he said on May 26.
On Twitter, Musk has fallen out with elected Democrats like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), one of the darlings of the left.
The billionaire now seems to want to clarify his political leanings. He is presenting himself as a backer of both moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans.
In a nutshell, the billionaire wants people to understand that he does not favor the extremes of either party.
"To be clear, I support the left half of the Republican Party and the right half of the Democratic Party!" the serial entrepreneur posted on Twitter on Aug. 16.
Musk: 'Stay Out of Bedrooms and Wallets'
The clarification coincides with Musk's participation in a Republican Party fundraiser which was held in Jackson, Wyo., the same day.
At the gathering the entrepreneur told Republican leaders and big-dollar donors that conservatives need to present a more compassionate front to voters and appeal to immigrants like himself, Axios reported.
Musk, 51, was born in South Africa and moved to Canada when he was a teenager. It was the billionaire's first major political event.
At the same event, the tech titan also suggested that the country would prosper if Republicans "stayed out of people's bedrooms" and Democrats stayed "out of people’s wallets," attendees said.
Musk, whose personal fortune is estimated at $265 billion as of Aug. 17, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, is believed not to have signed a check during this event, which aimed to raise money for the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Congressional Leadership Fund. The two groups are helping Republicans in their effort to regain control of the House.
Some attendees posted photos of Musk at this fundraiser on social media.