Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) issued a response to Nikki Haley, a fellow 2024 Republican presidential candidate, who accused him of hypocrisy for accepting donations from Disney and subsequently targeting the company.
DeSantis described Haley’s allegations of him harboring a “vendetta” against Disney as “completely strange.” He made these remarks during an appearance on the Brian Kilmeade Show on Fox News Radio on Monday.
“How utterly bizarre. I mean, somebody does a campaign contribution you’re supposed to lay down for them. That’s not how I operate. People can support me or not support me. I call them as I see them. And if you’ve supported me, but you’re wrong, I’m going to do what’s right,” DeSantis said.
Furthermore, he countered Haley’s claim that he provided subsidies to Disney, highlighting that the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which includes the Walt Disney World Resort, was established in the 1960s before his tenure as governor. He also clarified Haley’s statement, emphasizing that Disney is suing him instead of him initiating a lawsuit against Disney. DeSantis expressed his determination to prevail in the legal battle.
“At the end of the day, [as] the parent of three young kids, we are going to fight the sexualization of minors and children. We are going to fight anybody that’s trying to rob them of their innocence. And we are not going to compromise,” DeSantis said.
“Whether that’s standing up to a big 800-pound gorilla like Disney or anybody else, we’re going to stand with the children. And I think our voters want to see that because they understand raising kids nowadays is difficult,” he added.
In her town hall event on Sunday evening, Haley criticized DeSantis, asserting that he was expending time and taxpayer funds on a personal “vendetta” against Disney.
“So, here you have DeSantis, who accepted 50,000 and political contributions from Disney. He went and put their executives and their lobbyists on prominent boards throughout Florida, and he went and basically gave the highest corporate subsidies in Florida history to Disney. But because they went and criticized him, now he’s going to spend taxpayer dollars on a lawsuit. It’s just like all this vendetta stuff. We’ve been down that road again,” Haley said.