Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticized former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie during Wednesday night’s debate over remarks that he made about parents needing to be the ones who determine whether or not their children are able to receive transgender treatments while they are minors.
The exchange came during the fourth Republican Party presidential debate hosted by NewsNation in Alabama after co-moderator Megyn Kelly pressed Christie about actions that he took while he was governor.
“When you were governor in 2017, you signed a law that required new guidelines for schools dealing with transgender students,” she said. “Those guidelines required schools to accept a child’s preferred gender identity, even if the minor’s parents objected. And it said that there is no duty for schools to notify parents if their son or daughter changes their gender identity, allowing the serious issue to remain a secret between the school and the child.”
“How is any of that pro-parental?” she asked.
“That’s simply not true,” Christie claimed. “That law was put into effect in 2018 and regulated in 2018 before I, after I was out of office. We did not issue those guidelines. And you’re wrong about that, simply wrong.”
“I stood up every single time for parents to be able to make the decisions for their minor children, every single time parents should make those decisions,” he continued. “And by the way, you know what, every once in a while, parents are going to make decisions that we disagree with. But the minute you start to take those rights away from parents, you don’t know that slippery slope, what rights are going to be taken away next.”
DeSantis pushed back, “You do not have, as a parent, you do not have the right to abuse your kids.”
DeSantis’ remark generated arguably the loudest round of applause from the audience all night.
“This is cutting off their genitals, this is mutilating these minors, these are irreversible procedures,” he said. “And this is something that other countries in Europe like Sweden, once they started doing it, they saw it did incalculable damage, they’ve shut it down. I signed legislation in Florida banning the mutilation of minors because it is wrong. We cannot allow this to happen in this country.”
“And I know Chris disagrees with me. … Nikki disagrees with me. She opposes the bill that we did to ban that, she said, ‘law should not get involved with it,'” he continued. “She also though, I think, and this is flows from what she did as governor of South Carolina, they had a bill to try to say that men shouldn’t go into girls bathrooms, and she killed that bill. And she bragged that she killed that bill, even to this day, she bragged that. I don’t think men should be going into little girls bathrooms. I think it’s wrong. And I think we have every right to protect them from that.”
Megyn Kelly tees up the gender ideology issue to Chris Christie and Ron DeSantis delivers the knockout blow on both Christie and Haley to the loudest cheers of the night. Masterful stuff.
"As a parent, you do not have the right to abuse your kids." 🔥👇 pic.twitter.com/DBVyoxIjML
— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) December 7, 2023