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Kellyanne Conway says Ron DeSantis needs to lay off the ‘culture wars’

The former Trump campaign leader argues that DeSantis’ war with Disney will hurt him

Eric Garcia
Friday 21 April 2023 16:17 BST
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Kellyanne Conway advised Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to lay off the “culture wars” as he inches closer to running for the Republican nomination for president in 2024.

Ms Conway, who led former president Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and worked in his administration, spoke on Fox Business Network with fellow Trump administration alumnus Larry Kudlow. Mr Kudlow highlighted how polling shows Mr Trump was “crushing” Mr DeSantis before the Florida governor even announced his campaign, and that many members of the Florida congressional delegation have endorsed the former president.

In addition, he noted how Mr DeSantis has continued to wage war against Walt Disney after the company opposed his so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill last year.

“Trump is running against DeSantis,” Mr Kudlow said. “Meanwhile, in my view, Desantis is running against Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. And I think that’s a huge mistake, and his obsession here I think is really damaging him.”

Ms Conway said Mr DeSantis was trailing Mr Trump for a number of reasons, including the fact that Mr Trump announced his candidacy back in November, whereas Mr DeSantis has not yet launched his own.

“If you want to win, you have to play,” she said.

But Ms Conway also said Mr DeSantis’ protracted fight with Disney probably hurt him.

“He spends way too much time on the culture wars, and that begins with Disney and includes many other things,” she said. “Woke is important, but you can’t have that as a replacement for a bold, growth-centric economic plan.”

In addition, Ms Conway said Mr DeSantis has spent too much time focusing on Mr Trump, though Mr DeSantis has been reluctant to mention the former president by name.

“He should’ve come out and said, ‘I’m an alternative to Biden,'” she said.

In addition to his focus on Disney, Mr DeSantis has focused on restricting abortion, signing a six-week ban last week.

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