Conservative commentator and former New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, criticized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as not being conservative enough. In an interview with Semafor Principals on Tuesday, Christie voiced his concerns over DeSantis’ move to nullify attempts by Disney to bypass the state’s new control board overseeing the company’s operations.
.@ChrisChristie says he "[doesn't] think @GovRonDeSantis is a conservative based on his actions towards @Disney."
"If you express disagreement in this country, the government is allowed to punish you? To me, that's what I always thought liberals did."https://t.co/AcYFlg3XLp
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) April 18, 2023
Christie believes that DeSantis’ decision towards Disney shows he is not a conservative. He fears that this could lead to a dangerous precedent where the government can punish those who express disagreement. For Christie, this is the type of behavior generally associated with liberals, and he is disappointed to see it coming from a Republican governor.
Chris Christie: "I don't think Ron DeSantis is a conservative, based on his actions towards Disney." pic.twitter.com/oYliMgHd8v
— Republicans against Trumpism (@RpsAgainstTrump) April 18, 2023
Governor DeSantis is pushing for new legislation to provide more oversight on Disney in Florida. Due to the company’s opposition to his Parental Rights in Education Bill or the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, he has been aiming to revoke the company’s self-governing status. Disney responded by trying to make an agreement, which was then deemed null and void by DeSantis’ bill due to legal and filing issues.
Christie is cautious of DeSantis’ approach to the issue, which makes him nervous about the governor’s potential tactics in negotiations with China if he moves on to become President. He questions his ability to navigate critical negotiations without undermining the rights of American citizens and businesses.
DeSantis’ Press Secretary, Bryan Griffin, criticized Disney’s attempts to preserve their privileges in Florida, which was deemed unfair by the government. Governor DeSantis believes in the will of the people, which means that everyone must be treated fairly and not given special privileges. Griffin believes that the legislation is necessary so that the state and other businesses are not at a disadvantage.
Governor DeSantis is expected to announce his presidential bid soon, and Christie is also considering running for president in 2024. Though he is not impressed with his fellow Republican’s actions toward Disney, Christie’s criticism should be a wake-up call for DeSantis to be more careful about his approach to similar issues.