Former Vice President Mike Pence said he would not have revoked Disney’s special tax privileges in the way Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis did after the company came out against his parental rights in education bill.
CNBC journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin pressed Pence on “Squawk Box,” the network’s early morning show, about DeSantis’ conflict with Disney over his parental rights legislation. (RELATED: DeSantis Slams Biden For Visiting Ukraine While Ignoring Southern Border)
“What do you think of what DeSantis did with Disney in Florida? There’s two ways of looking at it, one is to say Disney spoke out on a political or social issue, but then there clearly was retribution, politically, against them … look, DeSantis used his political power to cancel them,” Sorkin asked.
“I fully supported Florida’s initiative to protect kids and protect parental rights,” Pence said. “I have concerns about the follow up … Disney stepped into the fray and lost … but the idea of going after their taxing authority … that was beyond the scope of what I as a conservative limited government Republican would be prepared to do.”
DeSantis passed legislation in March 2022 banning classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten to third grade. The bill prevents sexually explicit materials from being shown to K-3 students and requires schools to notify parents about changes to their child’s mental or physical health.
Disney publicly criticized the measure after employees pressured the company to come out firmly against it. In response, DeSantis signed legislation revoking Disney’s special and administrative tax privileges the company had since 1967.