Chris Christie blasts Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over Disney

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie blasted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday, arguing the latter’s handling of an ongoing public war of words with Disney is proof he isn’t prepared to serve as the next US president.

Christie, who is himself a potential candidate for the GOP’s nomination in 2024, argued that DeSantis should have foreseen Disney’s eleventh-hour move to secure long-term developmental rights within its special tax district – just before a state-appointed oversight board took control.

“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 [Disney CEO] Bob Iger created for you,” Christie said during an appearance at an event hosted by the news outlet Semafor.

“Sometimes in politics, you just have to admit when you screwed up and got taken,” Christie added. “It happens.”

Christie targeted DeSantis hours after the Florida governor pledged a renewed crackdown on Disney over its last-ditch effort to maintain control over the special district. DeSantis said the state’s GOP-controlled legislature would introduce a bill to void Disney’s 30-year developmental deal.

DeSantis also said he would look into revoking privileges that Disney had previously enjoyed within the state, including an exemption from external inspections on its monorail and transportation systems.

“We want to make sure that Disney lives under the same laws as everybody else,” DeSantis said at a Monday afternoon press conference.

DeSantis’ decision to crack down on Disney, one of the state’s largest employers, also raised questions about his credentials as a conservative, according to Christie.

“I don’t believe Ron DeSantis is a conservative, based on his actions toward Disney,” Christie said. “Where are we headed here now, that if you express disagreement in this country, the government is allowed to punish you? To me, that’s what I always thought liberals did.”

Chris Christie has yet to say whether he’ll run for president.

Gov. DeSantis has pledged a renewed crackdown on Disney.
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

Both DeSantis and Christie are considered likely candidates for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2024, though neither has formally entered the race.

Christie told Semafor that he expects to make a decision on whether to run within the next few weeks.

Disney secured a long-term development deal just before a state board was set to take over its special district.

The Post has reached out to DeSantis’ office for comment on Christie’s remarks.