At Wednesday night’s Republican Party presidential debate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis confronted former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over his stance on transgender treatments for minors. The debate, held in Alabama and hosted by NewsNation, saw DeSantis challenge Christie’s previous actions regarding transgender students during his governorship.
Co-moderator Megyn Kelly set the stage for the confrontation, asking Christie about a 2017 law he signed that required schools to respect a student’s chosen gender identity, even if their parents objected. She further noted that the law did not obligate schools to inform parents if their child changed their gender identity.
Christie denied these claims, asserting that the law was put into effect and regulated in 2018, after his term as governor ended. He defended his record, stating, “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.”
DeSantis, however, fired back at Christie, stating, “You do not have, as a parent, you do not have the right to abuse your kids.” His remarks, which included a reference to irreversible procedures like genital mutilation, drew significant applause from the audience.
DeSantis also pointed out that other countries like Sweden had halted such practices due to the damage they caused. He highlighted his own actions as Florida’s governor, signing legislation that banned the mutilation of minors.
The Florida governor also criticized former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who was present at the debate. He claimed that she opposed his bill and had previously quashed an attempt in South Carolina to prevent men from entering women’s bathrooms.
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