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DeSantis keeps up attacks on Disney as some GOPers balk

Apr 21, 2023

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Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., addressed a very supportive crowd at the Heritage Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Leadership Summit. In his speech, he promised not to back down from his fight with Disney.

“They were exempt from laws that virtually everybody else had to follow,” DeSantis said. “They had great tax breaks, they were even able to rack up debt. No single entity or individual in the state of Florida enjoyed such privileges. And, you know, that’s not good government, that’s not free enterprise.”

The DeSantis-Disney dispute has been going on for more than a year. It started with the Parental Rights in Education Act that prohibited instruction on gender and sexuality in schools. Critics call it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Disney spoke out against it and DeSantis is now threatening to impose higher taxes on the company or even build a state prison nearby its resort.

“It is wrong to teach a second grader that they may have been born in the wrong body. It is wrong to teach students that gender is a choice,” DeSantis said. “And we don’t allow that in Florida. And the Left didn’t like it, a lot of the media didn’t like it and Disney didn’t like it. But you know, we govern the state of Florida, not them.”

But this fight is starting to rub some Republicans the wrong way. Former President Donald Trump called DeSantis’ actions a political stunt and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie questioned whether the Florida governor is really a conservative.

“Where are we headed here now that, if you express disagreement in this country, the government is now going to punish you?” Christie said at a recent event hosted by Semafor.

Republican members of the Florida Legislature are also expressing dissatisfaction.

“We’re not the party of cancel culture. We can’t keep doing this tit-for-tat,” one legislator told Politico.

As DeSantis battles Disney and Trump fights criminal charges in New York, polls show Trump is pulling ahead in the 2024 GOP presidential primary race. According to FiveThirtyEight, the two were separated by 16 percentage points in March, now the gap has expanded to 25 points.

But the over a thousand attendees at the Heritage conference gave DeSantis a big standing ovation and really liked what they heard from the governor who is being encouraged to launch a presidential campaign.

“He is ready for primetime,” Heritage member Jeffrey Barrett said. “He’s definitely ready for a presidential run if he wants to run, but I’m not sure if he thinks this is the right time for him because he’s very young still.”

Barrett said when it comes to supporting a primary candidate, he’ll choose whoever he believes has the best chance of winning the general election. Right now, he thinks that’s DeSantis.

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We’re at the Heritage Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Leadership Summit where Florida Governor Ron DeSantis addressed a very supportive crowd. He promised not to back down from his fight with Disney. 

 

Gov. Ron DeSantis: “They were exempt from laws that virtually everybody else had to follow. They had great tax breaks, they were even able to rack up debt, no single entity or individual in the state of Florida enjoyed such privileges. And, you know, that’s not good government that’s not free enterprise.”

 

The DeSantis Disney dispute has been going on for more than a year. It started with the Parental Rights in Education act that prohibited instruction on gender and sexuality in schools. Critics call it the Don’t say Gay bill. Disney spoke out against it and DeSantis is now threatening to impose higher taxes on the company or even build a state prison nearby its resort. 

 

DeSantis: “It is wrong to teach a second grader that they may have been born in the wrong body. It is wrong to teach students that gender is a choice. And we don’t allow that in Florida. And the left didn’t like it. A lot of the media didn’t like it. And Disney didn’t like it but you know, we govern the state of Florida, not them.”

 

But this fight is starting to rub some Republicans the wrong way. 

 

Former President Donald Trump called DeSantis’ actions a political stunt and former NJ Governor Chris Christie questioned whether the Florida Governor is really a conservative. Christie said quote: “Where are we headed here now that, if you express disagreement in this country, the government is now going to punish you?” 

Republican members of the Florida state legislature are also expressing dissatisfaction. One GOP legislator told Politico: “We’re not the party of cancel culture. We can’t keep doing this tit for tat.”

 

And as DeSantis battles Disney and Donald Trump fights criminal charges in New York, the polls show Trump is pulling ahead in the 2024 GOP Presidential Primary race. According to 538, the two were separated by 15 percentage points in March, now the gap has expanded to 25 points. 

 

But the over one thousand attendees at the Heritage conference gave DeSantis a big standing ovation, and really liked what they heard from the Governor who is being encouraged to launch a presidential campaign. 

 

Jeffrey Barrett, Heritage Foundation member: “He is ready for primetime, this guy.”  

 

Ray: “When you say ready for primetime does that mean a presidential run?”

 

Barrett: “He’s definitely ready for a presidential run if he wants to run, but I’m not sure if he thinks this is the right time for him because he’s very young still.” 

 

Barrett says when it comes to supporting a primary candidate, he’ll choose whoever he believes has the best chance of winning the general election, and right now, he thinks that’s DeSantis. Straight from National Harbor, I’m Ray Bogan. 

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