In an interview earlier this week, former Vice President Mike Pence provided his opinion on the recent political battle between The Walt Disney Company and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The last few years have been highly turbulent for The Walt Disney Company—political tensions between Disney and elected officials, especially within Florida. The battles between the entertainment and Theme Park giant have remained lukewarm since word got out that the company supported Florida’s controversial Parental Rights bill.
The battle over Disney’s Reedy Creek special tax district between Governor DeSantis and Disney lasted for years. The dispute between the two began with Disney’s public stance against Florida’s HB 1557, the Parental Rights in Education bill, which was drafted to prohibit classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in K-3 classrooms and to require such conversations after third grade to be age-appropriate. After Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law in late March 2022, Disney immediately fired back with a statement condemning the bill’s passing and vowing to stand with those who endeavored to see the law repealed.
In April 2022, Florida lawmakers passed a law that would dissolve special tax districts in the Sunshine State before 1968, including the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney’s special tax district that effectively grants Disney the privilege of a self-governing status. The dissolution was set to be effective in the summer of 2023.
Just recently, the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate passed their version of the law during a special session to discuss the state’s takeover of the Reedy Creek District. The new bill HB 9B, which saves Reedy Creek from dissolution, calls for several significant changes, including empowering Governor DeSantis to hand-pick board members for Reedy Creek and officially changing the district’s name to the “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.”
In a recent interview on CNBC with former Vice President Mike Pence, the potential 2024 presidential candidate was asked about the Disney vs. DeSantis battle and if he thought it went beyond the scope of his political views. Here is what the former Vice President had to say:
“I fully supported the Florida initiative to protect kids and parental rights,” says fmr. Vice President @Mike_Pence. “@Disneystepped into the fray. But [what @GovRonDeSantis] did was beyond the scope of what I, as a limited government Republican, would be prepared to do.”
"I fully supported the Florida initiative to protect kids and parental rights," says fmr. Vice President @Mike_Pence. "@Disney stepped into the fray. But [what @GovRonDeSantis] did was beyond the scope of what I, as a limited government Republican, would be prepared to do." pic.twitter.com/QzFehzYm7f
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) February 22, 2023
There is no doubt that as we enter the Presidential political primary season, the Disney vs. DeSantis controversy will be brought up if FL Gov. Ron DeSantis decides to run for President in 2024. Vice President Pence’s recent interview and comments could be just a preview of how some Republican primary candidates may approach the situation.
Do you think Florida Governor Ron DeSantis went too far against Disney? Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below.