He did, I was very excited and happy then. I felt like it was a huge accomplishment for human race in general. I really think it was a massive success. But this... This isn't science or engineering. This is BS PR to stay relevant.
Actually he's admitted that he'll need heavy government assistance. He got it for his reusable rockets as well. Without NASA backing and Obama's plan to fund new commercial space access programs he wouldn't be flying anything. I'm not saying that as a criticism, I'm all for government programs creating commercial successes, but going to Mars isn't one.
Also, I just want to preemptively say that I don't work for NASA. But I like the institution. It has it's own problems (who doesn't) but all in all it works very well.
Note: Backwards is the only way to land a rocket. :) Like lunar landers.