Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has jumped into the fray of Republicans defending Elon Musk, saying it would be "a huge, huge mistake" if Apple pulls Twitter from its App Store.
"It would be a real raw exercise of monopolistic power that would merit a response from the United States Congress," DeSantis said Tuesday from Jacksonville, Florida, in a video posted on his Twitter site.
DeSantis criticized reports of Apple curbing its AirDrop function on iPhones ahead of anti-government protests in communist-led China. He contrasted that to Apple threatening to pull Twitter from its App Store, which Musk claimed in a tweet they did "but won't tell us why." Apple has not publicly commented on the claim.
"Don't be a vassal to the [Chinese Communist Party] on the one hand, and then use your corporate power in the United States on the other to suffocate Americans and try to suppress their right to express themselves," DeSantis said.
Musk, who responded to a tweet he would support DeSantis if the governor ran for president in 2024, bought Twitter on Oct. 27 for $44 billion and has remade it in his vision of being a "free speech absolutist." He has reinstated several banned accounts, including former President Donald Trump's and others who questioned COVID-19 policy and vaccinations. He has drawn a lot of support from Republicans in recent weeks.
"Elon Musk is actually opening [Twitter] up for free speech and is restoring a lot of accounts that were unfairly and illegitimately suspended for putting out accurate information about COVID," DeSantis said. "So many things these experts were wrong at, and you had people on Twitter that were calling that out, and the old regime in Twitter, their response was to try to suffocate the dissent.
"Elon Musk knows that's not a winning formula and he's providing free speech. And Apple responds to that by [threatening] to nuke them from the App Store. I think that would be a huge, huge mistake."
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