This week, US President Joe Biden tweeted out the below:
“Ford is investing $11 billion to build electric vehicles, creating 11,000 jobs across the country. GM is making the largest investment in its history—$7 billion to build electric vehicles, creating 4,000 jobs in Michigan”.
It’s a nice pat on the back for both Ford and GM, whose executives surely were pleased with the exposure from the world’s most powerful man. Somebody, however, took the tweet personally – Tesla CEO Technoking Elon Musk.
Mr President just got ratioed.
This isn’t the first time Biden and Musk have disagreed.
Elon was not best pleased in August of last year when the Biden administration invited executives from Ford, General Motors and Stellantis to discuss a certain topic of interest to Mr Musk – the production of electric vehicles. Musk was left slighted after Tesla, who happen to be the world’s biggest manufacturer of electric vehicles, weren’t asked to the dance.
The world’s richest man responded by slamming Biden as “not the friendliest administration” at an interview at the 2021 Code Conference. The reason for Tesla getting the cold shoulder wasn’t made abundantly clear, however Musk hyptohesised it may have been connected to the fact Tesla is not unionised, given Biden’s staunch support of unions. During the same interview, Musk accused Biden’s administration of “being controlled by the unions”.
Indeed, Musk found himself in hot water for violating labour laws when he wrote an anti-union tweet from 2018. But even with this, it’s certainly curious as to why Biden seems to have made an enemy of one of the most high-profile men in America, especially given the electric vehicle industry (that Musk has fought for so long to legitimise) ties in with Biden’s policies. It seems an unnecessary battle to pick with Musk, who can be notoriously petty and cantankerous. Maybe Biden just doesn’t like him?
Was this the moment Musk threw away hopes of a friendship with Joe Biden?
Musk, as Musk tends to, also took to Twitter to vent when he referenced Trump’s Sleepy Joe insult last year following a SpaceX rocket launch which completed the historic feat of the first all-civilian flight crew. Responding to a question about why there was no statement from the White House on the achievement, Musk tweeted that it was because “(Biden) is still sleeping”.
Whatever your thoughts are about Musk, at least it’s kind of refreshing that he actually controls his own Twitter account, unlike 99% of celebrities who hand their accounts over to PR teams. Then again, given his volatile habit of tweeting things that, shall we say, he should just keep to himself, maybe a PR team is what he needs. But hey, there’s enough sadness in the world right now; I’m not going to complain about a little light entertainment.
Elon being Elon
It’s very much a one-sided beef at the moment, with Musk consistently throwing shade at Biden, while the President simply ignores him. It must be quite frustrating for Musk to not even be acknowledged, no matter how witty the insults he throws are. Then again, Biden is a busy guy.
But with all seriousness, it really is sort of curious how the White House has not been more accommodating of Tesla. From a both a policy and a publicity point of view, it really should be a mutually beneficial relationship for the both Biden and Musk.
I wonder if Tupac and Biggie were alive in the age of Twitter, whether their beef would have played out like this.
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