Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) hit Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) over his ongoing feud with Disney on Thursday, suggesting that the governor “sit down and negotiate” with the company.
“I’d give him the same advice I gave President Biden,” McCarthy told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday. “Why wouldn’t you sit down and negotiate and talk. If there’s differences, you can always find ways that you can solve this problem.”
“This is a big employer inside Florida,” he added. “I think the governor should sit down with them. I don’t think the idea of building a prison next to a place that you bring your family is the best idea. I think it’d be much better if you sat down and solved the problems.”
DeSantis earlier this month floated building a state prison next to Disney World in his latest jab at the company.
The Florida governor first took aim at Disney last year, after the company spoke out against the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, which barred classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade.
DeSantis has since sought to remove Disney’s special self-governing status over the district surrounding its Florida park.
The company sued DeSantis and other state officials on Tuesday, alleging it has been the subject of a “targeted campaign of government retaliation” for “protected speech” that threatens its business operations.
While DeSantis has dismissed the suit as “political,” other Republicans seem wary of the Florida governor’s escalating feud with the company.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) said on Thursday that it was a “perfectly legitimate thing” for the state to address Disney’s “governmental-type powers” but warned against targeting businesses for “political purposes.”
However, McCarthy also suggested on Thursday that he doesn’t think businesses should “get into politics.”
“If you’re going to be a large employer inside this state, you should also abide by the rules and run your business and don’t think you should get into politics,” he said, later adding, “You can take whatever position you want, but remember, if you’re elected to run a business, that’s what your shareholders want you to do.”