Two of the most argumentative men in national headlines battled it out in the Hawkeye state this week, each one attempting to lay claim as the candidate who harbors the most hatred for Disney.
On Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis kicked off his presidential campaign in Iowa, following a weekend during which the governor claimed that Iowa residents agree with his stance on The Walt Disney Company. As part of his campaign kickoff, DeSantis also talked about the debt ceiling and even spoke against former President Donald Trump, one of his current competitors.
When it comes to U. S. Presidential elections, the tiny state of Iowa might as well be the size of Texas. That’s because the Hawkeye State’s primary is the first in the election cycle. Candidates who have a good run in Iowa have a headstart in momentum that can propel their campaigns forward. In fact, every Democratic candidate to win the Iowa primary since 2000 has gone on to secure the spot as the nominee for the presidential campaign. On the flip side, candidates who don’t perform well in Iowa often lag behind their colleagues. Over the years, the state has served as both a launchpad and a crash site for presidential candidate hopefuls.
During an episode of the Fox & Friends show last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blasted Mr. Trump, accusing the former Commander in Chief of “taking the side of Disney in our fight down here in Florida.” In response, Mr. Trump distanced himself from In like fashion, Mr. Trump took to social media, initially blasting The Walt Disney Company as a “woke and disgusting shadow of its former self” and issued a stern warning to Disney, encouraging the House of Mouse to get back to basics before the market has its final say. But he noted that Disney’s current operations and ideology are things that have “all happened during the Governorship of ‘Ron DeSanctimonious.'”
The sparring, seemingly over who hates Disney the most–DeSantis or Trump–could be indicative of the Disney-DeSantis feud being a central focus along the campaign trail in the future. But Dave Peterson, a political scientist at Iowa State University, says that might not be the best idea, especially for candidates hoping to secure the Iowa primary victory.
“I think the generic culture war stuff plays fine,” Peterson said. “The sort of really-in-the-weeds specifics in picking a fight with Disney, in particular, is a little over the top, even for a lot of Iowa Republicans.”
Only time will tell how much of the campaign trail will be flooded with attacks on Disney and on Gov. DeSantis for his handling of the escalating feud between the Florida legislature and the entertainment giant.