Florida Democrats, Republicans speak out on GOP Senator Hawley's canceled fundraiser

Universal Orlando’s Portofino Bay hotel has canceled a planned fundraiser for Sen. Josh Hawley -- a Republican from Missouri  -- after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Reaction among Florida leaders fell along partisan lines.

"This is the Left basically playing their bullying tactics, and it's working. You have corporations that are caving to the left," said Carl Jackson, a conservative Orlando radio host.

Florida Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat representing part of Orlando, said "Loews is a part venture with Universal Studios, and their parent company said they would no longer be contributing to any type of politician that supported the insurrection that took place in the US Capitol."

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Eskamani explained it was a business decision on Universal's part, citing that "what these companies are doing is looking out for their brand. That's the bottom line. We see it happen on many occasions. When companies start celebrating LGBTQ+ issues, they realize it's a popular issue."

Hawley, an outspoken supporter of President Trump, made headlines and controversy spearheading the objections to President-elect Biden’s win in Congress earlier this month.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) asks questions during a hearing to discuss election security and the 2020 election process on December 16, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC. (Photo by Greg Nash / POOL / AFP) (Photo by GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Jackson said it was a decision that may alienate them with conservatives, telling FOX 35 that "I think conservatives shouldn't bother going to the Peabody or ever setting events there ever again, or quite frankly, any hotel franchise associated with Loews."

The pair also sounded-off on what this could mean for the Senator's fundraising and electoral efforts. Hawley is up for re-election in 2024.

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"They are going to want to see people who are going to fight against the establishment and status quo, and be willing to fight for the people's agenda, rather than these major corporations," Jackson said.

"He's trying to appeal to a very small base of people, that are a deciding factor in primaries but not always a deciding factor in a general," said Eskamani. "As we saw with President Trump."

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.