Fox Business host Larry Kudlow ripped Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida Thursday for waiting to announce a presidential bid and battling Disney.
“Trump is running against DeSantis, meanwhile, in my view, DeSantis is running against Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse,” Kudlow, a former Trump administration official, said. “And I think that’s a huge mistake and… his obsession here, I think, is really damaging him.”
Disney and the Florida governor have clashed since DeSantis signed parental rights legislation in March 2022 over the company’s opposition. DeSantis also approved legislation that ended Disney’s control over the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which Disney reportedly attempted to undermine with last-second agreements.
“Ron DeSantis has a huge war chest. He has done a great job as governor of Florida,” Kellyanne Conway, a former Trump White House official, said. “So, he’s got some time, big splashy announcement, hiring lots of consultants, maybe the right people, maybe not. He’s got time to do that, but he’s wasted five and a half months.”
“It bears repeating, donors don’t choose the nominees in our presidents, anchors don’t, pollsters don’t, political cognoscenti, the people do,” Conway added. “And the people, particularly the Republican primary and caucus system, cannot stand when people tell them who can win. Electability to them is a fiction. They don’t ask who can win, they ask who can lead.”
“DeSantis, I said this on your show, and I’ll say it again on your show, spends too much time on the culture wars, begins with Disney but it includes many other things,” Conway said. “Woke is important but you can’t have that as replacement for a bold, growth centric economic plan. I think DeSantis should have policy people flying into Tallahassee the last six months and laying out what they saw as a great tax plan, energy plan, education plan, crime plan. He hasn’t done that.”
A political action committee backing DeSantis’s potential 2024 campaign sent a mailer touting the “DeSantis Playbook” to voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, highlighting the Florida governor’s achievements, including the parental rights legislation that sparked the feud with Disney and his efforts to combat illegal immigration.
Conway also said DeSantis targeted the wrong opponent for the 2024 election race.
“DeSantis made a big mistake, in my view, my humble view, by allowing himself to be seen as the alternative to Trump,” Conway said. “He should have come out and said, ‘I’m the alternative to Biden’ and he would have transported himself into a general election place.”
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