Elon Musk Praises Sen. Tim Scott For His Political Message Before Presidential Announcement

Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks on among other CEOs before a roundtable during the 6th edition of the Choose France Summit at the Chateau de Versailles, outside Paris on May 15, 2023. Since 2018, the Choose France Summit seeks to promote France's economic attractiveness and encourage international investment across the country and brings together hundreds of leaders from the largest multinational corporations. LUDOVIC MARIN/BENZINGA

By Shanthi Rexaline

The Republican presidential primary pulled in another candidate this week, as Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) threw in his name, joining a crowded field.

Scott is the only Black Republican in the Senate and came up through the ranks the hard way. Raised by a single mother and having grown up in poverty, the senator stands in stark contrast with the other candidates in the fray, many of whom come from affluent backgrounds.

Ranking Member Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) speaks during a hearing with the Senate Banking Committee alongside Chairman Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on Capitol Hill on May 18, 2023, in Washington, DC. The committee held the hearing to continue their assessment of the effects of the recent failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank and the financial future for Americans. ANNA MONEYMAKER/BENZINGA

In a campaign video, Scott says, “Today is chaos … immersed in a culture where everyone is affected.”

“We have the teaching, sort of necessity of individual responsibility. If you are able-bodied, you work, if you take out a loan, you’ll pay it back,” the senator says.

“If you commit a violent crime, you go to jail,” he said to his supporters, going on to introduce himself as a candidate for the GOP primary.

In response to the video, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Friday, “Great statement by @votetimscott!”

Scott launched a $6 million campaign ad in key Republican primary states as he is expected to make his announcement on May 22.

He filed paper work on Friday to enter the race. Scott is the third prominent Republican to enter the race.

Although Musk has often projected himself as a moderate, he suggested last year that he shifted his allegiance to the Republican Party.

Musk was once a staunch supporter of the Democratic Party during the Barack Obama presidency until some after 2021. He voted for Obama for both terms in 2008 and 2012, George W. Bush in 2004, Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Joe Biden in 2020. 

He once tweeted that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis could come out on top if he were pitted against President Joe Biden in the 2024 election. “If DeSantis runs against Biden in 2024, then DeSantis will easily win – he doesn’t even need to campaign,” he said back then.

The Tesla CEO ruled out former President Donald Trump as a contender, reasoning that the latter would be 82 years old by the time his second term were completed.

Trump and Musk have had a strained relationship over the years. After opening up Truth Social, Trump stated he wouldn’t return to Twitter.

Opinion polls favor Trump to emerge as the GOP nominee for the 2024 presidential race. DeSantis has yet to announce his candidacy, although reports suggest he is likely to make it official next week.

Trump is currently facing lawsuits over the hush money payments by the Manhattan DA, January 6 and classified documents by the special council, and Georgia election interference.

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg was criticized by other Republican figures on the hush money payments case as it is seen as politically motivated.

Among the candidates who have already confirmed their candidacies are former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Arkansas Governor William Asa Hutchinson II and right-wing political commentator Larry Elder.

Produced in association with Benzinga

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