“The Governor was definitely flexing his muscles. There’s a jurisdiction the state of Florida has and if they’ve got state lands that they decided to put a prison on, that’s in their jurisdiction to do it,” Patronis said.
“Whether you’re going to be dealing with Ron DeSantis for two years as Governor or four years as Governor, Disney should be working around the clock to go and make amends with Ron DeSantis,” Patronis added. “You don’t want to pick a fight with this guy.”
Patronis advised Disney to be “working around the clock to try to figure out how to make amends with Ron DeSantis, just like Bud Light should be working around the clock to go kiss Kid Rock’s ass.”
Patronis went on to note that fighting Florida is bad for the Disney CEOs’ job security.
“You’ve seen Bob Chapek’s scalp is on the wall,” Patronis said, referring to the company’s previous CEO.
“They realized they made some mistakes. Chapek went and got way outside of his comfort box. And look, he was new on the job. Bob Iger’s come in. I think Iger tried to make some corrections, but I think (he) also fumbled the ball again,” Patronis added. “I would be working around the clock figuring out how I can make this come in for a landing.”
On Monday, when discussing new legislation to wrestle control back from Disney, the Florida Governor suggested the state had every right to do what it wanted on land in the former Reedy Creek Improvement District, which is now known as the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.
“People are like, well, ‘What should we do with this land? Maybe create a state park? Maybe try to do more amusement parks,’” DeSantis said, before adding the prison quip. “Somebody even said, ‘Maybe you need another state prison?’ Who knows? I just think that the possibilities are endless, and so that is now going to be analyzed to see what would make the most sense.”
DeSantis may have been joking, but the thrust of his arguments and animus toward the theme park is quite serious, and at least one Cabinet member is willing to back his play.
Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics contributed to this report.