Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Tries to Walk Away from Disney Feud Amid Struggling Presidential Campaign

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called on Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) to withdraw its lawsuit against the state, saying that he has moved past the conflict and believes the company should do the same. 

During an interview with CNBC’s Last Call host Brian Sullivan, DeSantis was questioned about why he hasn’t personally reached out to Disney CEO Bob Iger to resolve the matter. DeSantis responded by claiming that the state of Florida has already shifted its focus and that Disney’s lawsuit against the state is bound to fail. 

“We’ve basically moved on,” he said. “They are suing the state of Florida. They are going to lose that lawsuit. So what I would say is, ‘Drop the lawsuit. You have the state that even CNBC ranks as number one of all 50 states for economy.”

DeSantis, a potential GOP presidential candidate, expressed his willingness to engage in a conversation with Iger, emphasizing his efforts to keep businesses operational amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He said that Disney had profited from his policies that allowed them to remain open in Florida during the pandemic.

“No one has made Disney more money recently than me because during Covid, they were open in Florida. They were locked shut in California. We said, ‘We want you guys to operate because we understood how important it was that their cast members in Central Florida had the ability to make ends meet. In fact, when Disney closed their parks, I didn’t tell them to close. They did it voluntarily.”

The dispute between DeSantis and Disney arose when the company publicly criticized Florida’s Republican-led Legislature for passing the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prohibited teachers from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation. 

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Disney took the matter to federal court in April, alleging that DeSantis and other state officials violated its First Amendment rights. 

Struggling campaign

Amid a series of campaign mishaps and struggles, DeSantis remains a very distant second to front-runner former President Donald Trump. 

Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky and a DeSantis supporter, in July quipped that DeSantis would probably need to get indicted — like Trump who just received his fourth on Monday evening — to close the 30-point gap.

“We got to find some judge in Florida that’ll indict DeSantis quick, to close this indictment gap,” the lawmaker told Alex Roarty of McClatchy. “It’s a truism that anytime someone is being persecuted, their camp rallies to their defense.”

Information for this story was found via The Washington Post, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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