2024 GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie on Sunday called tech billionaire Elon Musk’s antisemitic post “unacceptable,” as other GOP candidates have dodged the issue.
When asked by Kristen Welker on NBC News’s “Meet the Press” for his response to Musk’s tweet, Christie first made a broader point about antisemitism and sharply criticized President Biden, before mentioning Musk.
“Look, I think that what we’re seeing in this country, Kristen, with the incredible unmasking of antisemitism — I don’t want to say it’s a rise, I think it’s been there — and I think what we’re seeing now, due to what’s happening in Israel at the moment, is an unmasking of that,” he said. “We’re seeing it all over college campuses. We’re seeing it on social media sites like X and TikTok and other social media sites, and it is horrific.”
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Christie added that he thinks Biden “needs to be much stronger than he’s been in speaking out against antisemitism in this country.”
“This is an outrageous, outrageous type of hate that’s being expressed, and we need to be speaking out against it no matter who does it,” he said. “Whether it’s Elon Musk, whether it’s professors on our college campuses or students that they are misleading, or whether it’s individuals who are speaking out in an antisemitic way on the streets of our cities. This is unacceptable and the president has not been strong enough on this point in my view.”
Christie’s response, while tepid in its criticism of Musk, marked a departure from 2024 GOP candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s response Sunday morning. DeSantis would not condemn Musk — with whom he has a professional relationship — saying instead that he had not seen the post in question, even after the anchor read it aloud to him.
“Well, because I haven’t seen it,” DeSantis said on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked about the tweet. “I know you tried to read, I have no idea what the context is. I know Elon Musk. I’ve never seen him do anything. I think he’s a, he’s a guy that believes in America. I’ve never seen him indulge in any of that. So it’s surprising if that’s true, but I have not seen it. So I don’t want to sit there and pass judgment on the fly.”
2024 GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy appeared to respond to Musk’s post by posting a parallel message slamming those labeling Musk antisemitic.