(LifeSiteNews) — Florida Republican governor and presumed presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis weighed in on the Bud Light-Dylan Mulvaney controversy this week, declaring that making “woke” corporations feel financial pressure is essential to dissuading their forays into left-wing activism.
The beer brand’s owner Anheuser-Busch has been under fire for a promotional partnership with Mulvaney, a male TikTok celebrity who “identifies” as a woman, in which it congratulated him on “365 days of womanhood” with commemorative Bud Light cans bearing his face. The news sparked a substantial backlash against the brand and its owners.
In a preview clip released Monday for an upcoming interview, DeSantis told Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson that he will never drink Bud Light again.
“Why would you want to drink Bud Light? I mean like honestly, that’s like them rubbing our faces in it,” he said. “These companies that do this, if they never have any response, they are just gonna keep doing it.”
Stay tuned for the full interview with @GovRonDeSantis — rolling in the motorcade from a Disney presser to a Wawa gas station to get an orange soda in Orlando.
You're gonna love this one.
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) April 17, 2023
“I think we have power as consumers to make our voice heard, and not on every company, because sometimes conservative consumers aren’t going to make a dent in some companies,” the governor continued. “This one is one, if you don’t have conservative beer drinkers, you’re going to feel that. So, I think it is a righteous thing.”
“It’s part of a larger thing where corporate America is trying to change our country, trying to change policy, trying to change culture,” said DeSantis. “I’d rather be governed by we the people than by woke companies, so I think pushback is in order, including with Bud Light.”
On a personal note, he added, “my wife and I, whenever we just go out to have a beer … we actually like the stout, Guinness. Years ago, we went to Dublin … and we’ve always been a fan ever since.”
The stance contrasts sharply with the camp of DeSantis’s chief rival for the 2024 Republican nomination, former President Donald Trump, whose son Donald Jr. recently urged conservatives not to boycott Anheuser-Busch on the grounds that it is less involved in social activism than other major corporations, despite the company’s long history of pro-LGBT activism, and has donated more to Republican candidates than to Democrats.
Trump himself, who has a mixed record on LGBT issues, has not yet weighed in on the Bud Light controversy, but on Tuesday he dismissed DeSantis’s ongoing battle with entertainment giant Disney over the status of its park in the Sunshine State as “so unnecessary” and a “political STUNT.”
Such comments have angered various conservatives at a time when they are working to impose a financial toll on Disney and Anheuser-Busch to demonstrate that public pressure can be an effective deterrent to so-called woke corporations. Some also suggested that opposing boycotts on the basis of a company’s political contributions undermines one of his father’s most potent talking points, the claim that his personal wealth makes him unsusceptible to donor influence.
Trump currently leads national polls for the 2024 Republican nomination by a substantial margin, though DeSantis (who has not yet announced his candidacy, but is widely expected to do so upon the conclusion of Florida’s current legislative session), remains competitive in state polls and fundraising.