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Crist defends Disney, says DeSantis wants to be ‘king of Florida’

Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) blasted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in a tweet on Friday, calling him a threat to the state’s economy due to his fight with Disney over its criticism of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Crist, who was recently endorsed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in his high stakes bid to unseat DeSantis in the gubernatorial election this fall, called out the Republican governor for his attack on Disney, adding that “he’s gotta go in November.”

Crist further called DeSantis’s campaign to strip Disney of its self-government power a “boneheaded” move.

In a tweet, Crist linked to his interview with the Orlando Sentinel and said, “Attacking Disney, threatening to harm our state’s economic powerhouse that creates so many jobs and brings in so many tourism dollars is a boneheaded move however you look at it.”

He told the outlet that the “truth” was that Disney was being “punished for defying this governor and not living up to what he wanted them to do, to support this law that was so offensive to so many in our state.”

“That’s wanting to be the king of Florida. Well, he’s not,” Crist added.

“To see this kind of exercise of raw power by this governor at this time against this institution, it’s unbelievable,” the congressman told reporters, according to Florida Politics.

The Hill has reached out to Crist’s office for comment.

His comments came a day after Florida voted in favor of a bill that would dissolve Walt Disney World’s private government in a move that could have major tax implications for Disney.

DeSantis’s fight against the tourism giant followed Disney’s opposition to what critics call Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, which limits how Florida educators can discuss gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade. 

As the Democratic primary to determine who will take on DeSantis heats up with only four months to go, a February survey from the University of North Florida showed Crist leading state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried 44 percent to 27 percent among Democratic voters polled.

Tags Charlie Crist Charlie Crist Charlie Crist disney Disney Florida Florida Florida governor's race Nancy Pelosi Reedy Creek Improvement District Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis

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