Jan 10, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Haley takes aim at DeSantis for Disney feud

Republican presidential candidates Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (left) and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley participate in the CNN Republican Presidential Primary Debate in Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley denounced 2024 rival Gov. Ron DeSantis for his feud with Disney during a heated Republican presidential debate on Wednesday night.

Driving the news: "When they went and criticized him, he got thin-skinned and suddenly started to fight back," said Haley at the CNN debate in Des Moines, Iowa, in reference to the DeSantis administration's response to Disney publicly criticizing Florida's Parental Rights in Education law, which critics refer to as "Don't Say Gay."

  • "We don't need government fighting against our private industries. We are not woke in South Carolina," added the former South Carolina governor.
  • "I will always invite businesses to come to South Carolina. But the one thing you don't do is government doesn't bully our businesses."

The other side: DeSantis defended his administration's stance that's resulted in a lawsuit from Disney that alleges his administration's actions toward the company amount to a "targeted campaign" of government retaliation.

  • "We took on Disney and we defeated that and we won that fight and our kids are better off now," said DeSantis, whose feud with Disney has led to the company canceling a nearly $1 billion employee campus in Orlando.
  • "Nikki Haley sided with Disney. She invited them to South Carolina."

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