OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis tore into a reporter on Monday who tried challenging him on a bill that critics are referring to as “Don’t Say Gay.”
Reporter Evan Donovan shared a video of the exchange to Twitter, where he asked DeSantis if he supported the legislation.
After Donovan noted that critics have renamed it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, DeSantis went scorched earth.
“Does it say that that in the bill?” DeSantis asked, interrupting.
“I know that you support —” Donovan tried again.
“Does it say that in the bill?” DeSantis repeated the question.
“I’m asking —” Donovan protested, but DeSantis pushed back immediately.
“I’m asking you to tell me what’s in the bill, because you are pushing false narratives,” DeSantis continued. “It doesn’t matter what critics say.”
“It bans classroom instruction on sexual identity and gender orientation,” Donovan pressed.
“For who?” DeSantis asked. “For grades pre-k through three. So five-year-olds, six-year-olds, seven-year-olds — and the idea that you wouldn’t be honest about that and tell people what it actually says, it’s why people don’t trust people like you because you peddle false narratives.”
Several people began to clap and cheer as DeSantis continued, “So we disabuse you of those narratives — and we’re going to make sure that parents are able to send their kid to kindergarten without having some of this stuff injected into their school curriculum.”
— Evan Donovan (@EvanDonovan) March 7, 2022
Last week, DeSantis ripped into Joe Biden and his administration over the Russia-Ukraine conflict, suggesting that he is projecting the same “weakness” former President Barack Obama did when Russian forces annexed Crimea in 2014.
DeSantis said during a press briefing that the perception of weakness emanating from the White House before Donald Trump won in 2016 and after he left office was not evident during his term.
“My feeling is they haven’t done enough —Europe or Biden’s administration — to really hit Putin where it counts, and that’s because they have been so weak on domestic energy,” DeSantis said in criticizing Biden’s energy policies, which he said stripped the United States of its energy independent status attained during the latter years of the Trump administration.
“So let’s get back to where we need to get to back to. And I can tell you this. The media spent four years saying that Trump was some type of agent of Russia, and yet, when I was in Congress when Obama was president, Obama refused to send weapons to Ukraine,” DeSantis said, going on to offer a series of comparisons.
“When Trump was president, we sent weapons to Ukraine. Putin didn’t like that very much. When Obama was president, Putin took Crimea. When Trump was president, they didn’t take anything. And now Biden’s president, and they’re rolling into Ukraine,” the Republican governor continued.
“It was a total catastrophe, but it displayed the lack of leadership that Joe Biden is bringing to the table,” he said, adding that he did not think that the worst consequence of that withdrawal would be Afghanistan itself.
“So the weakness has really bred a lot of the disorder you’re seeing right now,” he added.
Trump has also intimated that were he to have won a second term, Russia would not have invaded Ukraine, either.
“If properly handled, there was absolutely no reason that the situation currently happening in Ukraine should have happened at all,” Trump said last month after Russian troops entered Ukraine.
“If properly handled, there was absolutely no reason that the situation currently happening in Ukraine should have happened at all,” he added.
“The weak sanctions are insignificant relative to taking over a country and a massive piece of strategically located land. Now it has begun, oil prices are going higher and higher, and Putin is not only getting what he always wanted, but getting, because of the oil and gas surge, richer and richer,” the former president said.