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DeSantis hit out at potential 2024 foes over the Disney feud

TRepublican presidential candidates slammed Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) for his public legal battle with Disney, as rumors swirl about the governor’s 2024 plans.

Florida’s governor has been tight-lipped about his plans for 2024 and is not expected to make an announcement before the conclusion of the state’s legislative session, which ends in May. A growing chorus of DeSantis allies have said the governor plans to launch his bid for the White House sometime this summer.


Despite being beset by falling poll numbers since former President Donald Trump’s Manhattan impeachment in late March, DeSantis has maintained his status as the former president’s top contender. As a result, he has become a target for his potential 2024 enemies.

Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), both running in the 2024 GOP primary, criticized DeSantis’ ongoing feud with Disney, home to its beloved Walt Disney World theme park Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Disney filed a lawsuit against DeSantis and the state of Florida earlier this month, alleging that the governor and state lawmakers violated the company’s First Amendment rights, contract and collection clauses. Constitution and your right to due process under the 14th Amendment. The lawsuit also alleged that DeSantis and other officials engaged in a “relentless campaign to weaponize government power against Disney in retaliation for expressing a political viewpoint unpopular with certain state officials.”

The Florida governor and the entertainment giant have been negotiating for more than a year. The fight dates back to the state’s Parents’ Rights to Education Act, which former Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke out against. DeSantis has been working to take control of the special district that encompasses the Walt Disney World Resort, but has faced some obstacles as Disney has struggled to maintain its autonomy.

“That’s where Ron DeSantis really lost it here. He’s gone down the wrong path, as he claimed, and that part really struck a chord with me, Disney should never have had privileges related to lobbying and crony capitalism first and foremost,” said Ramaswamy. Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. “Here’s the part he doesn’t mention: One of those perks of crony capitalism was — and I think the most relevant — codified into law by none other than Ron DeSantis in 2021.”

“And so the irony is that Ron DeSantis, who now opposes crony capitalism and is pushing it back, was the one who passed this into law for the Disney case,” he continued. “So I think that undermines the credibility of his crusade. I’d rather go to the root causes than do political stunts.”

Hutchinson argued that DeSantis’ activities at Disney were putting conservative businesses in blue states at risk of similar retaliation. He also pointed out the irony of a self-proclaimed conservative pushing back against the actions of a private company.


“I don’t like what Disney said about the legislation that would have supported Florida, but it’s not the government’s role to punish a company when you don’t agree with what they’re saying or a position they’re taking,” he said. Hutchinson. CNN’s State of the Union: “If this was a Republican’s view, we’re going to have all kinds of problems for our businesses in blue states if they start punishing businesses for taking a more conservative speech or position.”

“I don’t understand that a conservative would punish a business that is the largest employer in the state,” he added. “We support our industry because it provides jobs. And we’re not dictating to them what their speech is. To me, that’s a conservative position. And you’re wrong to go the other way.”

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