Mike Pence compares Ron DeSantis’ Disney ‘government activism’ to Gavin Newsom’s abortion move

desantis, ron - with mike pence
'One on the right, one on the left, and both are wrong.'

Former Vice President Mike Pence is doubling down on attacks against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The latest salvo came during a Yahoo! News interview Tuesday, when the potential Presidential candidate likened “government activism” from DeSantis to that of California’s Gavin Newsom, comparing Florida’s handling of Disney to how California dealt with abortion pills.

“I’m a limited government conservative, and I believe in private property, free enterprise. My concern more broadly was just simply about taking action against a company in the wake of a political dispute, where the company had taken a different position than the state,” Pence contended.

“I have concerns about that in Florida. I had the exact same concerns about California, pulling a $54 million contract from Walgreens because Walgreens announced that they’ll not be distributing the abortion pill in 20 states where it would be illegal to do so. To me, it’s the same kind of government activism — one on the right, one on the left, and both are wrong.”

In tones reminiscent of DeSantis declaring “there’s a new sheriff in town” regarding radical changes to Disney governance in the wake of the company’s pushback against the Parental Rights in Education law, Newsom struck a defiant pose against Walgreens recently.

“California won’t be doing business with Walgreens — or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk. We’re done,” Newsom tweeted.

Pence was also concerned Newsom was raising “First Amendment issues,” contending businesses should be able to take stands “without fear of retribution from government entities.”

Last month, Pence offered a somewhat softer version of the same critique, contending that “going after (Disney’s) taxing authority … “was beyond the scope of what I, as a conservative, limited-government Republican would be prepared to do.”

The comparison of Newsom and DeSantis seems purposeful, with both coastal Governors invoking each other as foils in recent months.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Earl Pitts American

    March 14, 2023 at 7:13 pm

    Good evening America,
    Real Americans loved Trump but just tolerated RINO Pence. Real Americans dont care what RINO Pence says.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

    • Ian

      March 14, 2023 at 7:59 pm

      I don’t think you know what a RINO is. Pence is a legitimate conservatives unlike trump

      • Walter Brennin

        March 14, 2023 at 8:36 pm

        Pence would have let Disney roll him over and stick it up Pence’s rear on Disney’s objections to what Disney called “The Dont Say Gay Bill”. Pence would have been a good little RINO and helped to fund the grooming of your kids. Pence had no backbone while serving with Trump. You were deluded into thinking Pence was something he is not because Trump was so strong. Pence is not your agreeable Trump lite as you think he is. Sorry to have to bring this to your attention but its better you learn the truth later than never at all.

        • Ian

          March 14, 2023 at 8:42 pm

          Aren’t you late to go meet jfk he’s ghost in Dallas? Embarrassing to share a party with people this stupid

          • Walter Brennin

            March 15, 2023 at 7:23 am

            Idiot. Ian.
            People like you are why we are suffering under Biden’s shizz 4 brains handlers. Let me guess you identify as an NPA or an Independant?
            Dook 4 brains Ian.

    • Rob Desantos

      March 15, 2023 at 1:42 pm

      Trump was a Democrat longer than he’s been a Republican.

    • Mr. Haney

      March 16, 2023 at 1:26 pm

      You’re no American.

  • Kenneth C Kovar

    March 14, 2023 at 8:54 pm

    As a Dem, this is one of the times I have to agree with Pence. Both Gov’s acted too politically in trying to “punish” Disney and Walgreens.

    • Tom

      March 15, 2023 at 8:18 am

      Yep – using the levers of government to punish private businesses when they don’t agree with your politics is fascism and despite the fact that I consider Pence a screaming sycophant, he’s not wrong this time. This whole ‘red meat for the base’ nonsense is getting a bit too stupid.

  • cassandra

    March 14, 2023 at 10:52 pm

    Mike is wrong. Walgreens’s announced that it would not fill LEGAL prescriptions for ‘abortion medication’ in several states where the medication is legal!

    Newsom did not renew the contract because Walgreens’s was willingly putting women’s and girls’s health and lives in danger for political purposes. Walgreens’s was refusing to fill LEGAL prescriptions!. It would be irresponsible to contract with them. Newsom did not punish Walgreens’s.

    DeSantis, on the other hand, punished Disney by taking over the company because it disagreed with him.

    • Ian

      March 15, 2023 at 5:09 pm

      Good point

    • Mr. Haney

      March 16, 2023 at 1:28 pm


  • Pancho Villar

    March 15, 2023 at 9:47 am

    The Reedy Creek special district aka Disney retains its tax exemption. The governor appoints its board now instead of the Mouse. Not really a bid deal. Regarding Walgreens, it made the business decision to forego carrying the abortion medication.

    Was there a First Amendment reason for that business decision? I have no clue of any ideological inclinations by its board of directors. California made a business decision to take its dollars elsewhere. I sure hope that decision isn’t costing its tax payers’ more. As a FL taxpayer I’m still peeved about DeSantis’s decision to eschew “ESG” investing. That’s a colossally stupid decision because it’s going to wind up costing us more for financial services.

    If Disney wants to double-down on “woke” for business purposes, it should. If Walgreens wants to double-down on “pro-life” for business purposes, it should. No US governmental entity should interfere or infringe upon those business decisions. Governments should make their own business decisions based on concepts of due process, fairness, and what’s best for the taxpayers’ pocket books, not ideology. I’ll continue calling it like I see it, and business goes forward the same as always.

    • Ian

      March 15, 2023 at 5:13 pm

      I certainly don’t want to pay additional taxes for his campaign other than what we clearly are doing anyway. This guy is using us to run his campaign and our tax dollars and is 💯 going to fail. His foreign policy is ‘they’re woke’ his domestic policy is ‘they’re woke’ hasn’t even defined the term he absolutely got from Rufo who also can’t define it.

    • cassandra

      March 15, 2023 at 8:15 pm

      Not renewing the Walgreens’s contract is NOT political. The same decision would have been made had Walgreens’s refused to fill legal prescriptions for insulin or children’s antibiotics.

      It’s really sad that so many people think of women’s health as politics, and women’s lives as an appropriate debate topic.

  • Ian

    March 15, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    Hey Walter, you poser fake Republican piece of white trash, guess what, your kids don’t think that, your idiocy dies with you. Start your own crazy white trash party if you want. This lifelong republican thinks you’re ridiculous. Happiest of thanksgivings to you. We’ve got a couple of you uninformed idiots in my family too.

    Now, use profanity to cover the fact that you’re an uneducated elderly poser and move on because the entire Republican Party is going to. Die angry in isolation because you read some garbage on the internet

    • Ian

      March 15, 2023 at 6:59 pm

      Maybe stop being what you’re scared of and apologize to your family while you can you goddamn clown

  • Ian

    March 15, 2023 at 4:52 pm

    Can’t just say the word woke over and over, steal another guy’s identity that you’re running against and not be seen as what you are despite Fox News efforts. Yeah you’ll get the really dumb ones,

    Walter’s w you. He will parrot profanity and hatred not knowing anything because he heard it somewhere.

    Thankfully most republicans and most people are not as stupid as Walter, I’d guess his kids and his family can’t stand him.

    If this clown is what republicans are supposed to be now you can have it!!

  • Ian

    March 15, 2023 at 4:58 pm

    Russian apologists have no place in the Republican Party or America in general.

  • Ian

    March 15, 2023 at 5:49 pm

    I refuse to believe republicans have become this stupid but I keep being proven wrong!!

  • It's Complicated

    March 16, 2023 at 1:44 pm

    Pence is probably unaware that one year after the Florida Legislature enacted the Reedy Creek Special District, voters in Florida amended the State Constitution essentially making these sorts of corporate special districts illegal.

    Did Disney enjoy ‘sacred cow’ status for 45-years? Absolutely.

    Was abolishing Reedy Creek special district a political payback for Disney sticking their nose into something that didn’t otherwise affect them? Absolutely.

Comments are closed.


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