Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk criticized President Joe Biden as “not the friendliest administration” after the White House snubbed his company last month. Musk’s comments came during a Code Conference interview and followed a tweet in which the Tesla CEO mocked Biden using similar insults as former President Donald Trump.
The Biden administration invited auto executives to the White House last month to discuss the shared goal of increasing the production of electric vehicles. Top officials from Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis were invited. But Tesla, which is the largest EV maker in the world, was not.
One potential reason that Tesla wasn’t invited is that its factory workforce is not unionized, while Biden is a big supporter of unions. During the Code interview, Musk went a step further, claiming that Biden’s administration was “controlled by the unions.”
Tesla has been actively fighting against an attempt to organize Tesla workers at the company’s Fremont, California plant. Musk himself was found to have violated labor law when he tweeted anti-union comments in 2019.
Musk has been tweaking Biden on Twitter for weeks. Last week, when asked why Biden didn’t issue a statement about SpaceX’s recent rocket launch, Musk tweeted, “He’s still sleeping,” echoing a Trump nickname for Biden, “Sleepy Joe.”
Update September 28th, 7:15PM ET:
On Twitter, a top United Auto Workers official responded to Musk’s comments:
He needs to stop whining and just admit that workers should not have to punch out of democracy when they punch into work! Good leaders aren’t afraid of smart workers but embrace them!— Cindy Estrada (@CindyEstrada174) September 28, 2021