Mike Pence Accused of Playing From 'Shrug and Give up' Playbook in Backwards Disney Attack on Ron DeSantis

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

Mike Pence has been in the GOP presidential nomination race for over a month now, informally declaring his candidacy in late May and then making official a week later by filing the paperwork and then appearing on a CNN town hall.


But though Pence has a wealth of experience working in government, first being a member of Congress for 12 years in the early 2000s, then serving as Indiana’s governor for four years, and then as Donald Trump’s vice president from 2017-2021, his polling is almost quite literally in the basement alongside everyone else outside of his former boss and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

So what’s a guy in this situation to do?

Seeing as though Pence’s attacks on Trump and his milquetoast responses on the issues have probably hurt his standing among GOP primary voters, Pence’s next step has been to side with Trump and Nikki Haley in attacking DeSantis on his feud with Disney, accusing him of “abandoning free market principles”:

But when the governor of Florida decided to launch a full-scale campaign of governmental retribution against Disney, he wasn’t taking a page out of the conservative playbook—he was following in the footsteps of the radical left. In doing so, he not only risked billions of dollars of investment and thousands of jobs for the state, but even more importantly, he turned his back on the principles that make our country great.

None of this was necessary. The best way to change businesses’ behavior is to hit them where it hurts—the pocketbook. The American people seemingly understand this truth, as evidenced by their grassroots boycotts and changes in purchasing habits.


Who had Pence going full corporatist? Yours truly did, because the seemingly principled Pence wilted under pressure from woke corporations back in 2015 during the national debate over religious freedom laws, as RedState readers will recall:

Further, Disney was effectively running its own self-governed kingdom in Florida thanks to special government privileges they had enjoyed for decades, and had admittedly tried to wage war with the state over the Parental Rights in Education Act, vowing to fight it at every level which included joining forces with radical left-wing activist groups who believed like Joe Biden does that children belong to the government and not parents. DeSantis, in turn, played hardball right back, as RedState previously reported:

… the Reedy Creek district was a 25,000-acre area mostly owned by Disney which gave it the power to run the area however it saw fit, effectively making it its own little kingdom within the state of Florida. This area had existed in the form for decades, but that’s now come to an end thanks to Disney deciding to step into the political ring and challenge DeSantis on his “Parental Rights in Education” bill.

Disney assisted Democrats and activists in calling it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, a name that had no bearing in reality, and the company vowed to fight DeSantis under the guise of protecting LGBT children from Republicans. In truth, the bill never mentioned the word “gay” at all, but strictly to not teach children sexually oriented concepts, nor hide anything schools do from parents.

DeSantis warned Disney not to get involved but as it was later revealed, then-Disney CEO Bob Chapek was facing pressure from both within the company and Democrat lawmakers, overpowering his reluctance and entering the corporation into the ring. In return, DeSantis made the decision to strip Disney of its governance of Reedy Creek.


One Twitter user’s response to Pence’s remarks was so perfect that I wanted to print it and frame it:

Maybe because the conservative playbook on situations like this consists of “shrug” and “give up”?

That was true in 2008 and 2012, but it’s 2023 now and there should be no turning back to the days of old where the GOP just laid back and played nice in hopes that the left and their corporate allies would return the favor.

As I have said before, whoever the eventual GOP presidential nominee is has to be willing and eager to go the distance when it comes to fighting against the worst elements of what the Democratic party and their woke allies have in mind for the future of this country. I mean this is a non-negotiable thing as far as I’m concerned.

It doesn’t matter if the name is Trump, Pence, Haley, Christie, or whoever. If they can’t see that we’re in an existential fight for the soul of this country and then unequivocally commit to standing against wokeness in all its forms – even if they have to play by the left’s rules from time to time if necessary, then they are not worthy of leading it.


Stand for nothing, fall for anything, or however the old saying goes.

Flashback: GOP ‘Smart Set’ Hardest Hit After NBC News Report Shatters Perceptions of DeSantis/Disney War



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