Elon Musk’s an indisputable success in many arenas, as long as we’re not talking about SNL hosting gigs. He is vocal but not overtly political, and he famously relocated to Texas (where he built a Gigafactory near Austin, a Starlink facility in Austin, and plopped Starship near Brownsville) for reasons of his own, which may or may not include tax breaks and other business-friendly policies. Socially, he’s a mixed bag and doesn’t shy away from conspiracy theories, but overall, he doesn’t take hard-lined political stances very often on Twitter (well, Grimes did call him out once on a related subject). Yet Elon’s desire to remain apolitical in the public eye is news to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
While appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box (and as tweeted by CNBC Space Reporter Michael Sheetz), Abbott spoke out against the idea that businesses might shy away from a state with ultra-conservative laws. He declared that the state’s increasing redness this isn’t hurting Texas as a commerce center, but “[i]n fact it is accelerating the process of businesses coming to Texas,” Abbott said. He then bragged that he has “frequent” conversations with Elon, who Abbott claims “consistently tells me that he likes the social policies in the state of Texas.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tells @SquawkStreet that he "frequently" talks to Elon Musk, who "had to get out of California because, in part, of the social policies in California."
"Elon consistently tells me that he likes the social policies in the state of Texas." pic.twitter.com/NfRNqdOoZ8
— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) September 2, 2021
It was, you know, a little strange, as far as Abbott’s namedropping goes, particularly when it’s happening amid backlash over Texas’ near-total abortion ban that’s being upheld by the Trump-tweaked Supreme Court. And Elon made it pretty clear that he doesn’t wish to be roped into cable news conversations, at least at this time.
“In general, I believe government should rarely impose its will upon the people, and, when doing so, should aspire to maximize their cumulative happiness,” the SpaceX CEO declared in a tweet. “That said, I would prefer to stay out of politics.”
In general, I believe government should rarely impose its will upon the people, and, when doing so, should aspire to maximize their cumulative happiness. That said, I would prefer to stay out of politics.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 2, 2021
He could have simply said, “I would prefer to stay out of politics” and gotten his point across, but yeah, fair enough for this round.