Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., slammed President Joe Biden on Twitter on Thursday for meeting with General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra and Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley.
The two CEOs spoke at a White House roundtable with other CEOs on Wednesday about their support for Biden’s Build Back Better plan, which has stalled in Congress after moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, announced he couldn’t support it.
Following that, Biden published a video in which Barra stated that “businesses like GM and Ford are constructing more electric vehicles here in the United States than ever before.”
“Begins with a T, Comes to an end with an A, with ESL in between,” Musk commented, later adding, “Biden is a wet (sock) puppet in human form” and that “Biden is treating the American public like fools.”
The White House, Ford, and GM did not initially reply to interview requests on Thursday. Despite recent expenditures by GM and Ford to scale up manufacturing in an industry-wide drive to electrification, Telsa continues to sell the great majority of electric vehicles in the United States.
When Biden recommends initiatives to increase EV sales, he typically brings in representatives from GM, Ford, and Stellantis NV – three automakers whose hourly employees are members of the United Auto Workers — to represent firms who are embracing the transition.
Musk, the CEO of the only other large manufacturer located in the United States and an EV pioneer, is a source of annoyance.
He has referred to Biden’s administration as “not the nicest government” and said it is “dominated by the unions.” Tesla has actively opposed unionization initiatives at its facilities.
Nevertheless, Farley and Barra informed Biden on Wednesday that they endorse the progression of electric vehicle tax credits, which would increase the 200,000-vehicle cap on EV sales profiting from an established federal tax credit and broaden the rebates so that customers could save up to $12,500 on the acquisition price of a new EV.
As they presently stand, the proposed credits would favor the Detroit Three and the UAW by paying $4,500 for vehicles produced at a union factory. Barra also advocated for tax breaks for battery and other sophisticated manufacturing and $52 billion in domestic semiconductor chip financing.
Musk urged Congress not to enact the Build Back Better legislation, which contains advanced manufacturing and EV tax credits, stating that the sector does not require government assistance and that if federal spending is not reduced, “something very horrible is going to happen.”
While international manufacturers operating in the United States have protested the proposed EV tax credits’ union clause, the sector generally supports government funding on charging infrastructure and other incentives to accelerate the transition to EVs.
In December, the bill faced a probable demise when Manchin, a crucial swing vote in the Senate’s equally split chamber, declared he couldn’t support it. Democrats are now debating how to pass sections of the measure as independent bills before the end of the year.
MUSK Comments on The Statement
“When I said the future will be produced right here in America, I meant it. Companies such as GM and Ford are producing more electric automobiles in the United States than ever before,” Biden tweeted on Wednesday.
The tweet contained a video of him speaking with General Motors Chair and CEO Mary Barra, who emphasized the company’s $7 billion investment in Michigan manufacture of electric vehicles and battery cells.
Later, a Twitter user remarked on Biden’s video, saying, “Madness has reached national proportions… Shame on Joe Biden and Mary Barra for this deception, which is so trivial.” In response, Musk used the sock emoji to tweet, “Biden is a damp sock puppet in human form.”
Musk slammed GM on Wednesday after a Twitter user shared a photo of a CNBC piece on GM’s aim to surpass Tesla in EV sales by 2025 despite selling only 26 electric vehicles in the previous quarter.
“They look to have considerable room for improvement,” Musk said. Musk isn’t the first person to criticize Biden.
Instead, he’s set fire to the crown jewel of the president’s domestic agenda, a local weather and expenditure scheme known colloquially as Build Back Better, speculated that Biden is “controlled by unions,” and quipped that Biden was “still sleeping” when the White House did not comment on Space X’s historical, personal area flight.
This was not always the case. For example, Musk told Fortune shortly after Biden’s inauguration that he is “very psyched up that the new government is focusing on climate.” He has, however, lamented America’s de facto gerontocracy, calling for an age limit “just below 70,” which would have disqualified Biden and former President Donald Trump.
When he disagreed with Trump, the world’s richest man was unmistakable. In 2016, he criticized Trump’s character, claiming unfit to be president. Like many others in Silicon Valley and the larger business community, Musk was incensed by the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreements.
However, he would defend Trump at times as well. “It may be contentious, but I genuinely like the idea,” Musk said of Trump’s later successful campaign to create a new naval department focusing on space known as the Space Force in 2018.