Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie lashed out at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday, arguing he was not handling his conflict with Disney like a “conservative.”
Christie made the comments during an interview with Semafor, saying DeSantis was using the government to bully businesses like Disney. DeSantis’ conflict with Disney stretches back more than a year, when the company sought to oppose the governor’s education reform bill.
“I’m a conservative, and I believe the job of government is, in the main, to stay out of the business of business,” Christie said. “I don’t think Ron DeSantis is a conservative, based on his actions toward Disney.
“Where are we headed here now, that if you express disagreement in this country the government is allowed to punish you?” he continued. “To me, that’s what I always thought liberals did, and now here we are participating in this with a Republican governor.”
DeSantis is currently in a battle over the development rights for the area surrounding Disney World, known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Disney was able to block DeSantis’s efforts to take over control of the district by signing a development deal earlier this year, something the governor has vowed to undo.
Nevertheless, Christie argued DeSantis had essentially been outmaneuvered.
“That’s not the guy I want sitting across from President Xi and negotiating our next agreement with China, or sitting across from Putin and trying to resolve what’s happening in Ukraine, if you can’t see around a corner that Bob Iger created for you,” Christie said. “I don’t think that’s very imposing.”
DeSantis’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
For his part, DeSantis argues Disney “usurped” control over the improvement district, and he announced on Monday that the state legislature is drafting a bill to reassert control over the area.