WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — When asked about Elon Musk‘s recent endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory, Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis refused to condemn the statement, maintaining that he was not familiar with it despite the major controversy it caused, including prompting companies to pull their advertising from Musk’s X social media platform.
DeSantis, the governor of Florida, stated on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he had not seen Musk’s comment and suggested that Musk has been a target since purchasing Twitter due to the platform’s changing narrative.
Musk’s recent tweet, which was criticized for its indifference to antisemitism, sparked outrage, leading to major companies like IBM and Disney pulling their ad funding from Musk’s platform, formerly known as Twitter.
Despite the backlash, DeSantis announced his presidential bid on Musk’s platform, which has come under scrutiny for becoming a hub for hate speech since Musk took over the company last year. When asked to condemn Musk’s post, DeSantis refrained, stating he was unfamiliar with the context and did not want to pass judgment hastily.
He did, however, express his opposition to antisemitism, regardless of its ideological origin, and stated, “It’s wrong no matter what.”
The controversial post has drawn criticism from the White House, and Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin expressed skepticism at DeSantis’ claim of being unaware of Musk’s statement, calling it hard to believe that a presidential candidate would not have read it after four days.
Raskin also called for a full condemnation of antisemitism and racism, and planned to write to Musk to denounce the comments and request a cleanup of his rhetoric.