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Elon Musk announces House Speaker choice

Elon Musk. (Brendan Smialowski/La Nacion via ZUMA Press/TNS)
January 05, 2023

Twitter CEO Elon Musk declared his support for Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s troubled bid to be Speaker of the House, after two chaotic days of voting failed to win him the position.

With the new year came a new House of Representatives, which needs to elect a House Speaker before getting any business done. McCarthy needs a majority of the House – or 218 votes – to secure the top spot. But for the first time in a century, the speaker’s election has been blocked by a small but stubborn Republican wing through six rounds of voting across two days.

Early on Thursday, the third day of voting, the billionaire signaled in a simple tweet which way he wanted things to go: “Kevin McCarthy should be Speaker.”

In August, Musk spoke at a Republican retreat hosted by McCarthy in Wyoming, Fox News reported. The two held a fireside chat with supporters, representatives and Republican candidates in an event that was closed to the press.

After Musk embarked on his turbulent ownership of Twitter, McCarthy defended Musk from reports that the White House was closely monitoring the situation, Bloomberg reported. He said Musk had “succeeded in many places” and that the government “should just stop picking” on him.

SpaceX conducts some operations in Bakersfield, California, which lies in McCarthy’s House district, according to Fox News.

Trump has also backed McCarthy on his Truth Social platform. On Wednesday morning, the second day of voting, Trump urged lawmakers to “VOTE FOR KEVIN,” adding that he “will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB.”

Musk also recently picked sides in the rivalry between former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who hasn’t announced a presidential run but is considered a top contender to take on Trump for the Republican nomination. He said “yes” when asked if he would “support Ron DeSantis in 2024.”