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President Biden returned fire with billionaire Elon Musk in a sarcastic spit on Friday.
At a televised press conference on the state of the US economy, Biden was asked about his thoughts on Musk’s pessimistic assessment of where things were going. Biden fired Musk and wished him “good luck on the moon trip”.
The controversy created a buzz among media figures on Twitter.
On Thursday, news broke that the Tesla CEO had emailed company executives that the electric car company wanted to cut 10% of its jobs and freeze hiring amid fears about the state of the economy.
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Musk didn’t interrupt, telling executives he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy.
This isn’t the first Musk email to grab attention this week. Earlier, he sent Tesla executives an email asking them to make sure all employees came to the office for work. “Everyone at Tesla needs to spend at least 40 hours a week in the office,” he wrote.
Biden was asked at the press conference about Musk’s “super bad feeling”, and he responded with a few comments about how other big car companies that make electric vehicles are investing in the economy.
“Well, let me tell you, while Elon Musk is talking about it, Ford is overwhelmingly increasing its investments. I think Ford is increasing its investments in new electric vehicles, 6,000 new employees, union workers, in the Midwest, ex Chrysler Corporation, Stellantis, similar investments in electric vehicles. Intel is adding 20,000 new jobs, making computer chips.”
The president also made a condescending joke to the world’s richest man, who seemed to mock Musk’s business endeavors in space exploration. “So, you know, good luck on her trip to the Moon. I mean, I don’t know – I mean, you know…” Biden finished off.
Musk responded to Biden’s cheeky post on Twitter by sharing a NASA article announcing that Musk’s SpaceX company will provide the rocket systems that the US government will use in the space program’s upcoming Artemis program to get men to the moon.
Along with the post, he tweeted a sarcastic joke of his own, “Thank you, Mr. President!”
Other Twitter users reacted to the discussion. While some liberal accounts liked Biden’s reaction, Musk supporters criticized Biden for not taking the businessman’s warning seriously.
Occupy Democrats’ account was aroused in a humorous tweet by Biden, “BREAKING: Joe Biden with billionaire Elon Musk, who backed the GOP for saying he wanted to fire 10% of Tesla employees because he had a ‘super bad feeling’ about the economy. teasing him, jokingly wishing him ‘good luck on his trip to the moon.’ RT IF YOU WEN LOVES BIDEN SHADES RIGHT WINGS!”
Reuters White House editor Heather Timmons tweeted that Biden’s comments on Ford were a real insult to Musk. “Biden’s cynical moon commentary plays up a lot, while the Ford comparison real dig implies that Musk is a bad manager.”
Jerry Dunleavy of the Washington Examiner criticized Biden’s comments, saying, “This is not Elon Musk’s journey to the Moon. America’s journey there. NASA has chosen SpaceX to help astronauts land on the lunar surface as part of the Artemis mission. . US astronauts, scheduled to return to the Moon in 2025! It’s an amazing thing that Biden should not underestimate!”
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Space News senior writer Jeff Foust pointed out that the government led by Biden is investing in Musk. “NASA pays SpaceX $2.9 billion for this trip to the Moon…” he tweeted.
“FTW. [For the win]Thinking Biden’s joke was perfect, he tweeted MSNBC analyst David Corn.
TechCrunch transportation editor Kirsten Korosec endorsed Biden’s line at the press conference, tweeting, “Biden is stepping up his trolling game.”
“That’s a really funny sentence,” tweeted Richard Hall, a journalist at The Independent, regarding Biden’s comment.
Quartz senior reporter Tim Fernholz slammed Biden on the comment and tweeted, “lol Musk’s journey to the moon is at the center of the Biden administration’s space policy. It’s a good example of the administration’s disinterest in NASA.”
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Liberal journalist Ana Marie Cox actually disagreed with Biden and his supporters on this issue, tweeting, “The degree to which people celebrate Biden’s dunk against Elon Musk reminds me of the very low bar some Democrats have for their elected officials.”