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After a relaxing spring break, the women of The View came out swinging Monday morning as they discussed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' war on Disney. Guest co-host (and Floridian) Ana Navarro was particularly fired up about DeSantis revoking Disney's special tax status, a move she characterized as "wrong" and "anti-American." Explained Navarro, "He's also sending a very chilling message to every business operator in Florida: if you cross us, we are coming for you."
Last week, DeSantis signed a bill stripping Disney World of its special tax status, a likely retaliation to Disney CEO Bob Chapek speaking out against the state's "Don't Say Gay" legislation. "I don't understand how you can call yourself a pro-business, pro-freedom of speech, small government, against canceling conservative if you want to cancel one of the major corporations in Florida for freely speaking their mind in protection of their employees," Navarro said on Monday morning. She added that DeSantis is running for both reelection and for president in 2024, so he's relying on "manufactured culture wars" to better "position himself with the base" of the Republican Party.
"This war against Disney — the law was crafted in a way, taking away the special tax status, where it only affects Disney and about four other special taxing districts. There are 1,844 special taxing districts in Florida. And so it was to penalize and take revenge against Disney for having dared cross a pet legislative cause of theirs," continued Navarro. "That is wrong. It's anti-American. It's what happens in Venezuela. It's what happens in Nicaragua. It does not happen in the United States!"
FLORIDA REVOKES DISNEY’S SPECIAL TAX STATUS: Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill to dissolve Walt Disney World’s private government after the company opposed a new state law critics have dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” – #TheView co-hosts and @ambermruffin weigh in. https://t.co/gHzV4IYF8b pic.twitter.com/oh1GpJI1rq— The View (@TheView) April 25, 2022
Sunny Hostin then chimed in to "explain why it's happening" in Florida. "Bigotry is on the ballot when it comes to Ron DeSantis. That's what this is about," she said. "It's not anti-Disney. It's anti-Black, it's anti-gay, it's anti-LGBTQ+ community. And for some reason, the Republican base responds to it."
After a few minutes of back and forth — which included some insight from guest co-host Amber Ruffin, who said Republicans have created a "boogeyman" they're now promising to protect the base from — Navarro implored the Florida business community to stand up against DeSantis' threats. "I hope that the business sector bans together and stands in solidarity because CEOs should not be cowering under their tables!" she said. "They should be speaking up on behalf of their employees and their customers!"
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.