President Joe Biden criticized Republicans for trying to punish Disney after the company attacked Florida’s parental rights bill signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The president spoke out against Florida Republicans during a fundraiser hosted in Seattle by Brad Smith, the president and vice chair of Microsoft.
“I respect conservatives. There’s nothing conservative about deciding you’re going to throw Disney out of its present posture because, Mickey Mouse?” Biden said. “In fact, you think we should not be able to say, you know, ‘gay’? I mean, what’s going on here? What the hell is going on here?”
The president also referred to the political fight in Florida at an earlier fundraiser at the Portland Yacht Club.
“It’s not even conservative in the traditional sense of conservative. It’s mean. It’s ugly,” Biden said, complaining that the “far right” had taken control of the Republican Party. “Look at what’s happening now in Florida. They’re going after Mickey Mouse … don’t say gay? I mean seriously think about it.”
The president was referring to the Republican-led effort to strip Disney’s special tax status on Thursday.
Florida Republicans pushed the law forward after the family entertainment company said they would fight Florida’s new law preventing teachers instructing students in kindergarten through third grade on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The law reached final passage in the Florida state House of representatives with 70 votes in favor, 38 against, and 11 missing votes.
DeSantis plans to sign the bill on Friday.
Biden called for unity, urging Americans to find common ground.
“We are more united… when we focus on what we have in common,” he said, adding, “If we don’t bring it together, what the hell are we gonna do?”
Biden urged wealthy Americans attending the fundraiser to help him keep Democrat majorities in the House and Senate.
“We can’t afford to lose the House, we can’t afford to lose the Senate,” he said, boasting that during his first term he had “gotten a helluva lot done.”
The president appeared frustrated that Americans still blamed him for high inflation.
“People are angry and don’t quite know what to do,” he said.
*Editors note* A quote from the president has been updated in this article according to text of the official White House transcript and audio obtained of his remarks.
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