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Elon Musk backs Ron DeSantis for president as crusade against ‘woke agenda’ heats up

Justin Chin—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Twitter owner Elon Musk is down with Ron DeSantis becoming the next U.S. president—and the two have similar thoughts on the "woke agenda."

The mercurial billionaire tweeted his support for the Florida governor on Friday night, replying with “yes” when a [hotlink]Twitter[/hotlink] user asked if he’d support a DeSantis run for the White House.

“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,” wrote the [hotlink]Tesla[/hotlink] and [hotlink]SpaceX[/hotlink] CEO, who now controls Twitter after his $44 billion takeover last month.

He added, “As a reminder, I was a significant supporter of the Obama-Biden presidency and (reluctantly) voted for Biden over Trump.”

DeSantis has not announced a White House bid, but speculation has been rife. The Republican governor easily defeated Democrat Charlie Crist in the midterms, securing his second term. Anticipation of a DeSantis run comes as Republican lawmakers soon to control the House target the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups in their fight against "woke capitalism."

Like Musk, DeSantis has consistently spoken out against the “woke agenda.” In his victory speech this month, he said, “We fight the woke in the legislature. We fight the woke in the schools. We fight the woke in the corporations. We will never, ever surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die. I have only begun to fight.”

The 'woke mind virus'

Musk has made similar attacks. He tweeted in April that “the woke mind virus is making [hotlink]Netflix[/hotlink] unwatchable.” And this month, Musk reinstated the Twitter account of the satire site Babylon Bee, which had been locked over the misgendering of Rachel Levine, the U.S. assistant secretary of health and a trans woman. (Musk's ex-wife, Talulah Riley, had urged him to “do something to fight woke-ism” and was especially concerned about the suspension of the Babylon Bee account, asking, “Why has everyone become so puritanical?”)

Musk also brought back the account of Donald Trump. In January last year, days after the Capitol riot, Twitter permanently banned Trump “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Musk repeatedly criticized the company’s move, along with its content moderation policies in general. He promptly fired Twitter’s top leaders upon taking over the company.

Trump, who announced after the midterms that he’ll run again in 2024, will no doubt bristle over Musk’s support for DeSantis. The ex-president supported DeSantis’ 2018 bid for governor, but the relationship between the GOP leaders has cooled as DeSantis has become ever more popular among conservative voters.

Trump on Nov. 10 accused DeSantis of lacking “loyalty and class,” and he rolled out the nickname “Ron DeSanctimonious” at a rally in Pennsylvania. He also warned that if DeSantis ran, he’d reveal “things about him that won't be very flattering—I know more about him than anybody—other than, perhaps, his wife.”

Whether he’d reveal such things on Twitter remains a question. Trump has indicated he’ll stick with his own social media site Truth Social (an app developed by Trump Media & Technology Group) despite Musk reinstating his Twitter account. Musk has made raunchy jokes about Trump being tempted to tweet again, while Trump responded to his reinstatement by saying that Twitter as a company “might not make it.”

Musk yesterday again criticized the original decision to ban Trump’s Twitter account, writing, “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.”

But, he added, “I’m fine with Trump not tweeting.”

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

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