February 22, 2024

WASHINGTON — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley butted heads on Wednesday night time over the function of presidency in regulating non-public enterprise practices through the last Republican major debate earlier than the Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses.

“We took on (Walt Disney Co.) and we defeated that and we gained that combat and our children are higher off,” DeSantis stated. “Now, Nikki Haley sided with Disney. She invited them to South Carolina.”

“I’ll at all times invite companies to come back to South Carolina,” stated Haley, who ruled South Carolina from 2011 by 2017.

“The one factor you don’t do,” she added, “is authorities doesn’t bully our companies. Ron is decided, anyone that offends him, he goes after them.”

DeSantis’ years lengthy combat with one of many largest employers in his state has emerged as a key piece of his political legacy.

It started when Disney CEO Bob Chapek publicly criticized a 2022 state legislation banning the dialogue of sexual orientation and gender id in kindergarten by third grade.

Shortly after that, the state of Florida moved to strip Disney of its longtime management over a particular tax district the place its theme parks are situated.

Disney alleged authorities retaliation, as a result of Chapek had opposed the “Don’t Say Homosexual” legislation, and ultimately sued DeSantis and the state of Florida. The Florida tourism board countersued the corporate, and Disney later dropped all however the free speech declare from its swimsuit.

The alternate between Haley and DeSantis about Disney served to focus on a basic distinction between the 2 candidates.

In adverts and marketing campaign speeches, DeSantis usually emphasizes his ideological conviction, and the way his governing selections are made within the service of a broader conservative social imaginative and prescient.

Haley, against this, espouses a extra pragmatic, small authorities, business-friendly philosophy.

“Authorities was meant to safe the rights and freedoms of the folks, it was by no means meant to be all issues to all folks,” Haley stated Wednesday. “What we don’t want is authorities politicizing something and every part.”