Former Vice President Mike Pence asserted Monday that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has overstepped conservative boundaries in his ongoing battle against Disney.
The ex-governor of Indiana agrees with DeSantis to a degree about the Orlando-based entertainment giant, but pointed out that his “full-scale campaign of governmental retribution” against Disney is tantamount to the playbook of the “radical left,” he wrote in an op-ed for Reason, a libertarian website.
Pence has accused DeSantis of crossing the line to such an extent that propelled the corporate entity to take its business elsewhere, specifically beyond the Sunshine State’s borders.
Both Republican figures recently announced their candidacies for president in the 2024 election.
Since kicking off his campaign, Pence has used his own official website to attack DeSantis and former President Donald Trump, the latter of whom is dominating polls to be the GOP’s nominee in 2024.
It is well documented there has been no love lost between Trump and Pence ever since the latter refused to overturn the 2020 election results, clearing the way for President-elect Joe Biden to occupy the White House.
Meanwhile, the in-state battle between Florida’s highest office holder and Disney dates back months, when the popular corporation known for its family-oriented amusement parks (based in Orlando, Florida, and Anaheim, California) expressed its support for LGBT groups’ far-left agenda.
DeSantis initially butted heads with Disney about Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, which forbids discussing gender identity with kids who haven’t reached fourth grade. The legislation was referred to as “Don’t Say Gay” by opponents, with whom Disney joined forces.
As a result, DeSantis decided to pull the plug on Disney’s regulatory and special-tax treatment in Florida and the company reacted with a lawsuit.
“Disney obviously supported injecting gender ideology in elementary school,” the governor pointed out in May, also noting that he feels the need to do right by concerned parents of young students.
As part of a May 24 Twitter Spaces conversation with Elon Musk, the governor asserted “Nobody probably has made Disney more money than me, because they were opened [in Florida] during COVID-19.” At the time, Pence didn’t take issue with that particular DeSantis statement, but now the vice president is insinuating the governor has abused power while throwing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.
In his op-ed, Pence wrote that conservatives such as DeSantis are “turning their backs” on free-market principles while risking “billions of dollars of investment and thousands of jobs.”
In the essay, Pence went on to accuse DeSantis of all-out revenge tactics against Disney and that “None of this was necessary” in reference to stripping the theme park of self-governing status. A handful of fellow Republicans have publicly called for DeSantis to retreat from the dispute.
The Florida governor dismissed his naysayers as “showing themselves to be corporatists, because these are all corporate goodies” during the Twitter Spaces exchange with the social media app’s owner.
Pence has proven to be undeterred by such pushback. On his website, he boasts of championing core conservative values “for half a lifetime” while questioning whether the likes of DeSantis and Trump can honestly say the same.
NTD News reached out to both DeSantis and Pence for additional comments but hadn’t received a response from either politician as of Tuesday afternoon.
The Disney dispute isn’t the only current event on which Pence and DeSantis have been at odds.
Ukraine’s protracted war is another in-party hot potato; Pence has made it clear he disagrees with the governor’s statement that the overseas conflict isn’t in America’s interest. On his website, Trump’s vice president reiterated that Russia must be held accountable and cited the Reagan Doctrine in claiming the United States is an “arsenal of democracy.”