In a candid interview with Semafor, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who is considering another run for president, questioned Ron DeSantis’ maturity and judgment in relation to his protracted spat with Disney.
The Parental Rights in Education Act, also known as the “Don’t say g@y” measure by the media, was criticized by the parent corporation of Disney World, which infuriated the governor of Florida. Disney’s 56-year-old “independent special district” status, which had given it the right to establish its own rules, building laws, and other municipal services, was revoked as a result of DeSantis’ signing of a measure as retaliation.
DeSantis gave in and settled for control as it became evident that taxpayers would have to pay for Disney’s many municipal services as well as the tax district’s debt of almost $1 billion.’
Following the passing of agreements to prevent state interference by the district’s departing board members this week, DeSantis began a new round of criticisms of Disney.
In the interview, Christie joined Mike Pence in criticizing DeSantis on the grounds of small government, saying: “I don’t think Ron DeSantis is a conservative based on his actions towards Disney.”
“As a conservative, I think that the government’s primary duty is to refrain from interfering in private matters. We shouldn’t overly regulate industry, in my opinion. I don’t believe it is appropriate for us to instruct business on what to say, do, or think. Since I’ve been alive, that’s what I think conservatives have thought, said Christie. Where are we going at this point? If you express disagreement in this country, the government is allowed to punish you? To me, that’s what I always thought liberals did.”
According to Christie, if Disney can outwit DeSantis, he won’t fare well against China and Russia.
“I’ll tell you this much: That’s not the guy I want sitting across from President Xi and negotiating our next agreement with China or sitting across from Putin and trying to resolve what’s happening in Ukraine,” Christie stated.
For him to have taken that action against Disney and to not have foreseen that Disney was going to do what they did in response, which was to completely take over the millions and millions of acres and the zoning decisions before they got the authority, “I don’t think that’s very imposing,” said Bob Iger, “if you can’t see around a corner that Bob Iger created for you.”
In politics, the former governor of New Jersey claimed that “sometimes you just have to admit when you screwed up and you got taken.”
“Now, [DeSantis] is doubling down,” Christie continued. “Why do you wish to punish an area that generates a lot of visitors and tax income for your state? And since they dissented from you, you wish to punish them?
Christie also noted that if the roles were reversed and former Florida governor Charlie Crist had targeted and utilized the power of the government against Disney for opposing liberal legislation, Republicans would be “going berserk and saying it’s an overreach”
“Believe me, you’d hear Republicans speaking differently,” Christie said.
In an interview with National Review, DeSantis press secretary Bryan Gryphon justified the governor’s decisions by claiming that “Disney had extraordinary special privileges and an unfair special advantage compared to other businesses in the state.”
Gryphon argued that was improper, particularly in view of Disney’s promises to attempt to get the law overturned. Disney’s “legally flawed, last-minute agreement to preserve their special privileges” was insufficient, he added.
Disney’s corporate kingdom is over-
Disney’s sloppy and futile attempt to subvert the will of the Legislature and Floridians was uncovered by our state oversight board and their 11th hour agreements will be nullified by the Legislature.
Disney’s corporate kingdom is over. pic.twitter.com/GomGyfEDLS
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 17, 2023
“That’s an attempt to go against what the people of Florida have said, and Governor DeSantis will not allow that. Gryphon said, “Good and limited government (and, in fact, true conservatism) removes special privilege, promotes a level playing field for enterprises, and protects the will of the people.
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