Bernie Sanders on Elon Musk voting Republican: 'Musk can vote any way he wants'

Wyoming Republican Sen. Cynthia Lummis interested in holding fiscal policy summit on Capitol Hill with Tesla and SpaceX CEO.

Updated: May 19, 2022 - 10:30pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Reacting to Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announcing that he plans to vote Republican, Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders — avowed democratic socialist and two-time candidate for the Democratic  presidential nomination — said, "Musk can vote any way he wants to vote."

Wyoming Republican Sen. Cynthia Lummis, meanwhile, told Just the News she's "delighted to hear" the news of Musk's shifting political sensibility and thinks the GOP should invite Musk to Capitol Hill for a fiscal policy summit.

On Twitter, Musk confessed that while he had previously voted for Democrats, he is now changing course.

"In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party," Musk wrote on Wednesday. "But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican. Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold."

Musk — whose on-again-off-again pursuit of a deal to buy Twitter has been grabbing headlines for weeks — posted a follow-up tweet on Thursday, writing, "Judging by the relentless hatestream from the far left, this tweet was spot on."

Over time, Musk has been increasingly outspoken about the nation's rising record deficit and debt as well as unfunded liabilities, which are trillions of dollars in promised future benefits to Americans through entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. 

As the national debt climbs to $31 trillion, Lummis said a fiscal policy summit with Musk in Washington would be a great opportunity for lawmakers to hear his perspective directly.

"As a fiscal conservative myself, I think it's a fabulous idea because he's involved in so many businesses that he can bring the perspective of the consequences of fiscal irresponsibility, and both parties up here are fiscally irresponsible," Lummis said during an interview on Capitol Hill. "So it might be nice to hear from somebody who has been affiliated with both parties but for whom that is a major concern for our country going forward."

Just the News asked Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) for his thoughts on Musk's switch.

"Well, good," Cramer said. "We need all the votes we can get."

Cramer added that it's been "amusing" to watch Amazon founder Jeff Bezos "take on the Biden administration." Bezos — the owner of The Washington Post, an outlet widely seen as friendly to the Biden administration — has been criticizing the Biden administration over record inflation. 

Biden responded to Bezos on Twitter, writing: "You want to bring down inflation? Let's make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share."