Another 2024 hopeful says Ron DeSantis isn’t ‘conservative’ on Disney

Hutchinson Asa
'That's not what Republicanism is about.'

Yet another potential 2024 opponent says that when it comes to the Walt Disney Company, Florida’s Governor is not truly conservative.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson was the latest likely candidate for President to pillory Ron DeSantis for punitive actions against Disney, as reaction to the company’s opposition to 2022’s Parental Rights in Education legislation continues.

“Well, I don’t believe whether you’re on the left or the right of the political spectrum that we, the government should not be telling business what they can and cannot do in terms of speech. And however you describe it, it appears to me that the governor did not like what Disney was doing in terms of what they were saying and exercising speech. So they’re being punished,” Hutchinson said on Fox News Sunday.

“That’s not what Republicanism is about. It’s not what a conservative is about,” Hutchinson added.

“I don’t agree how Disney has handled things, but you don’t use the heavy hand of government to punish a business. The left does that,” Hutchinson added. “I don’t want the right or conservatives to do that either.”

Other potential candidates have made similar points.

Former Vice President Mike Pence 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.

“To me, it’s the same kind of government activism — one on the right, one on the left, and both are wrong,” Pence told Yahoo! News.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu made similar points, contending that “if we’re trying to beat the Democrats at being big-government authoritarians, remember what’s going to happen.”

“Eventually they’ll have power in a state or in a position, and they’ll penalize conservative organizations and conservative non-profits and conservative ideas. That’s the worst precedent in the world.”

Former President Donald Trump makes similar points.

“DeSanctus is being absolutely destroyed by Disney. His original P.R. plan fizzled, so now he’s going back with a new one in order to save face,” Trump opined.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie shares this view.

“I’m a conservative, and I believe as a conservative, the job of the government is… to stay out of the business of business,” Christie told Semafor. “I don’t think Ron DeSantis is a conservative based on his actions towards Disney.”

DeSantis advocates have defended the ongoing offensive, however.

During an interview on the Fox Business Network, Never Back Down PAC founder Ken Cuccinelli said the efforts would resonate with Republican Primary voters in 2024.

“Only one candidate, only one Governor has ever protected America against the scourge that Disney has become in the last couple of decades,” Cuccinelli told host Neil Cavuto.

From there, the PAC head went on to question the entertainment company’s Americanism.

“The fond memories people have, that you refer to, of Disney are from a long time ago, and Disney has become more of a force to undermine good, healthy, positive, patriotic American culture than it is a supporter of it,” Cuccinelli said.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said recently that Disney “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.”

Polling suggests that may be somewhat true. The most recent Harvard-Harris survey cites 56% of all respondents saying it makes them more likely to back DeSantis, and 44% taking the opposite position. Among Republicans, support climbs to 73% for the anti-Disney stance.

There could be a lot more to come on the Disney front, DeSantis suggested last week.

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.”

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


8 comments

  • Earl Pitts American

    April 23, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    Good afternoon America,
    Just because the dook 4 brains leftists have a geezer POTUS does NOT mean conservatives are looking for a geezer POTUS.
    Think about it America,
    Earl Pitts American

    • Elliott Offen

      April 23, 2023 at 6:55 pm

      👆Foul mouthed, redneck, loud mouth azzhole. Gonna get a smack one of these days. I know the type.

      • Earl Pitts American

        April 23, 2023 at 8:14 pm

        Thank you my man Smelliott keep up the great work.
        While I’ve got the entire readership of F.P. on pins and needles to see what Earl Pitts American is going to say next let me just go ahead and lay the sad truth about Asa on the nation.
        The Biden administratiom has shot our economey so deep into #ell that our Great Nation can not afford the bill for those “Grampers Adult Diapers” for yet another Geezer POTUS.
        Our “Grampers” budget is flat broke. We are shaking out Bidens “Grampers” now, turning them inside out, and putting them back on Biden just to save money.
        There is no way our Great Nation can afford another geezer POTUS. No Way so Geezer Asa is a non starter on just the “Grampers” Adult Diaper budget alone. Sorry Asa.
        Thank you Smelliot for the set up for me, Earl Pitts American to slip in and segway to the vital “Grampers” buget issues in order to educate our Great Nation on the high cost of yet another Geezer POTUS.
        Earl Pitts American

        • Elliott Offen

          April 23, 2023 at 8:49 pm

          I’m not reading all that stupid sht man. Seek help for your mental problems for Christ sakes.

          • Earl Pitts American

            April 23, 2023 at 9:14 pm

            My Man!!!

  • tom palmer

    April 23, 2023 at 4:47 pm

    Of course Gov. DeSantis’ vendetta against Disney is idiotic. Glad his fellow Republicans from other states–Florida Legislature’s wimpiness notwithstanding–are pointing out the obvious.

  • Bert Stimson

    April 23, 2023 at 5:59 pm

    That “Harvard Harris poll” link is still wrong, fyi

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 23, 2023 at 6:42 pm

    Rhonda’s Panties should build a replica of the US Capitol on Reedy Creek. He and his ilk could go there and play “normal tourist” all they want.

Comments are closed.


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