Political Animals

Kleiner Perkins Investor Responds to Romney Calling Tesla and Fisker ‘Losers’

"Only an American businessman turned politician could attack this success."
elon musk in mission control at spacex Kleiner Perkins Investor Responds to Romney Calling Tesla and Fisker Losers

Nobody puts Elon in a politically expedient corner! (Photo: Wikimedia)

If your Twitter feed is anywhere near as tech heavy as ours, Elon Musk came in a close second to Big Bird as unfair targets during Mitt Romney’s grossly misleading turn at the podium Wednesday night.

Lumping electronic sports car makers Fisker and Tesla in with Solyndra, the presidential candidate smugly described President Obama’s tax breaks to green companies thusly: “I mean, I had a friend who said, you don’t just pick the winners and losers; you pick the losers.” 

Tesla founder (and would-be Mars colonizer) Elon Musk already noted this week that the DOE is “bullish” on his electronic sports car company and that Tesla has never missed a loan repayment, despite production delays and revenue shortages.

Now Ray Lane, managing partner at Kleiner Perkins and investor in Fisker, another green car company, has decided to offer the “dyed-in-the-wool” business man little perspective on the green car startups. Mr. Lane told First State Politics:

“Each company have [sic] produced great products, 2,000 jobs and are the first new automotive companies in 50 years,” Lane said, by email. “While the rest of the world admires this achievement, only an American businessman turned politician could attack this success.  Write about the hard working entrepreneurs not the politicians.  Lets celebrate Henrik Fisker and Elon Musk, not criticize them.”

While he’s at it, Mr. Lane decided to throw in a little fact-checking:

Lane also said that  Romney “inflated $500 million lost by Solyndra (one company) to $90 billion of TARP money, a massive leap of logic and corruption of facts.”

Green investments may have fallen out of vogue, in favor of the consumer web. But for the next debate, Mr. Romney might want to keep in mind that future-facing Silicon Valley isn’t part of the 47 percent.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com


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