In the wake of the entertainment giant’s decision to cancel plans for a new campus in Orlando, Florida’s Republican governor made it clear that there would be no backing down. The popular governor, who is widely speculated to run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, voiced his unwavering stance during a visit to New Hampshire.
During a conversation at Manchester’s Red Arrow Diner, Governor DeSantis responded to a question about Disney’s legal actions, stating, “They can do whatever they want.” He emphasized that there would be no reconsideration of the decision, regardless of the circumstances.
The dispute between Disney and DeSantis escalated after the corporation objected to a controversial amendment in Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Law, leading to tensions and lawsuits. The governor made it clear that his state would not grant special privileges to any company, emphasizing the importance of treating all businesses equally under the law.
Disney’s decision to halt the expansion of its Lake Nona headquarters was attributed to “new leadership and changing business conditions,” according to a statement by the company’s chairman. However, critics, including several Republican presidential candidates, condemned DeSantis for his approach to the issue, arguing against government intervention in business matters.
Despite the criticism, DeSantis remained resolute in his position. He continued to rally support from his base, with many members of Florida’s House of Representatives publicly endorsing him. As he prepared to officially launch his presidential campaign, DeSantis focused on building a strong political team and engaging in strategic visits to key primary states.
While facing challenges from within his own party, including former President Donald Trump’s disapproval, DeSantis stayed true to his conservative values. His aggressive stance as a culture warrior against media, corporations, and teachers unions had garnered him significant support among conservatives in Florida.
As the 2024 presidential race approached, DeSantis positioned himself as a candidate who had transformed Florida into a leading red state through his conservative policies. With a Republican supermajority in the state legislature, he had successfully implemented measures such as immigration restrictions, limitations on gender and diversity education, and stricter abortion regulations.
Amid a crowded field of potential Republican candidates, including Asa Hutchinson, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Chris Christie, DeSantis emerged as a strong contender. Polls indicated that he was Trump’s main opponent and held a substantial lead over other potential contenders. Despite the ongoing criticism and challenges, DeSantis remained focused on his goal of securing the Republican nomination and taking his conservative agenda to the national stage.