Ron DeSantis, a Republican running for president, declined to denounce a post by Elon Musk that endorsed an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. Despite the post causing numerous companies to remove their ads from Musk’s X social media platform, DeSantis claimed he was not aware of the post.
“I missed the comment,” Florida’s governor DeSantis stated on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I am aware that Elon has faced criticism since acquiring Twitter because his actions are challenging the traditional narrative control of certain individuals.”
Musk has caused a backlash due to a tweet he posted in response to a user’s accusation that Jews have a hatred towards white people. He also expressed a lack of concern for antisemitism in general. In a reply on Wednesday, Musk tweeted, “You have spoken the truth.”
Major corporations such as IBM and Disney have withdrawn their financial support from X, which is a significant setback for the social media platform once known as Twitter. X is now attempting to regain the trust of these large brands and the advertising dollars they provide, which make up the majority of its income.
Governor DeSantis declared his candidacy for president on the platform owned by Musk, despite evidence that it has become a breeding ground for hateful language since Musk acquired the company in the previous year. During an episode of “State of the Union,” Tapper displayed Musk’s post and read it to DeSantis, then asked him to denounce it. However, the governor chose not to do so.
DeSantis, who was participating in the show remotely, stated, “I am aware that you attempted to comprehend it, but I am not familiar with the circumstances.” He also added, “I am personally acquainted with Elon Musk and have never witnessed him engage in such behavior. I believe he is a patriotic individual. If these allegations are true, it is unexpected, but I cannot confirm them. Therefore, I do not want to make hasty judgments.”
The governor expressed his opposition to antisemitism from all sides of the ideological spectrum, regardless of whether it originates from the right or left.
DeSantis stated that it is incorrect regardless of the circumstance.
The White House has received backlash for the post, with spokesperson Andrew Bates stating last week that it is unacceptable to perpetuate the horrific falsehood that led to the most deadly act of anti-Semitism in American history. This is especially concerning given that it occurred just one month after the deadliest day for the Jewish community since the Holocaust.
This is in regards to the lethal assault by Hamas on Israel that took place on October 7.
On Tapper’s program, Maryland’s Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin appeared in person right after DeSantis and stated that it is not believable that a presidential candidate would not have seen Musk’s post. Raskin questioned, “It has been four days and he still hasn’t had the opportunity to read Elon Musk’s words?”
Raskin expressed disbelief, stating that it is difficult for him to accept. Regardless, you presented it to him and he still refused to denounce it.
“If you truly want to condemn and address the issues of antisemitism, racism, and other forms of bigotry, which can lead to the downfall of liberal democracy, you must be direct and vocal about it,” stated Raskin. “You must also denounce these forms of hatred in all instances.”
Raskin personally denounced the post as “reckless and harmful,” and proposed that he and fellow House members intend to communicate with Musk in order to request that he disavow his statements and behave more responsibly.