2024 Election

Former VP Pence Likens DeSantis to 'The Radical Left' for Disney Fight


Former Vice President Mike Pence on Monday issued a sharp criticism against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, his opponent in the 2024 presidential election. Pence criticized DeSantis' crusade against Disney over their disagreements on state legislation and the park's self-governing status.

In his remarks, Pence said that DeSantis resembled the far-left by retaliating against Disney last year, following Disney's disavowal of a law that restricted LGBTQ+ speech in Florida classrooms. He did, however, praise the aforementioned Parental Rights in Education law, saying "governors around the country are right to pursue these policies and protect our kids".

"When the governor of Florida decided to launch a full-scale campaign of governmental retribution against Disney, he wasn't taking a page out of the conservative playbook," Pence said. "He was following in the footsteps of the radical left."

At face value, DeSantis' efforts to dissolve Disney's special self-governing status and install his own board don't have an obvious fit with the laissez-faire business policy traditional to conservative governance. It was a frequent criticism of DeSantis by Republicans who opposed the move. But proponents have held that DeSantis was justified in taking the fight to Disney, as a measure to dissuade 'left-wing' social activism by major Florida corporations. The cause for the fight wasn't something Pence disagreed with; the fight itself was.

Furthermore, Pence criticized DeSantis' actions from an economic standpoint, saying vilifying Disney risked the jobs and economic activity the company brings to the state. "The bottom line is this: Conservatives can either be for politically motivated government intervention in the private sector, or we can be against it."

Currently, Pence and DeSantis are two of the highest-polling candidates in the 2024 Republican Presidential Primary, with both candidates largely trailing former President Donald Trump.