Sun Sentinel slammed for claiming DeSantis was 'outmaneuvered' by 'Don't Say Gay' catchphrase

The Parental Rights in Education bill passed the legislature in early March

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Political commentators and more criticized a South Florida Sun Sentinel article on Monday that said Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., was "outmaneuvered" by the "Don't Say Gay" catchphrase that represented the opposition to his Parental Rights in Education bill. 

The legislation bans school employees or third parties from giving classroom instruction on "sexual orientation" or "gender identity" in kindergarten through third grade.

"Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards," the bill said. 

Yet opponents have labeled the measure the "Don't Say Gay" bill. The Sun Sentinel politics piece from Anthony Man read that DeSantis and other Republicans were agitated by the messaging, arguing that the reaction from the governor and his Press Secretary Christina Pushaw "shows the effectiveness of the ‘Don’t Say Gay' label." 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference in November 2021. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference in November 2021. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

DEMOCRATS CLAIM FLORIDA IS PUSHING ‘DON’T SAY GAY BILL.' HERE'S WHAT THE LEGISLATION ACTUALLY SAYS

"Politicians who have to respond to opponents messaging are in treacherous territory because they're losing control of the narrative," a professor of political communications told the Sun Sentinel. 

Political commentators and more reacted to the Sun Sentinel article on Twitter. Pushaw responded to the tweet by questioning how opponents had "outmaneuvered" DeSantis, considering the education bill passed earlier this month.

"You lost. Most Floridians support the bill, and it passed the legislature. But keep coping," she said. 

Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, right, waves to supporters with his wife, Casey, at an election party after winning the Republican primary, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, right, waves to supporters with his wife, Casey, at an election party after winning the Republican primary, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

"What color are the clouds in your sky?" Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway asked. 

Christian Ziegler, the vice chairman of the Florida Republican Party, said "they aren’t considering normal Floridians, who overwhelmingly support the bill."

REPORTER MOCKED FOR TWEETING OUT GOV. DESANTIS' ROAST OF HIS QUESTION ABOUT SO-CALLED ‘DON’T SAY GAY' BILL

"Show me a greater example of the media & left not thinking outside their bubble," he said in another tweet. 

Michael Caputo, political strategist and former assistant public Health and Human Services secretary under the Trump administration, also said "you lost" and said that DeSantis "keeps lapping you fools."

Opinion columnist Rita Panahi simply laughed and said "no." 

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"DeSantis is clearly riled by the phrase's success," the piece said. 

The Parental Rights in Education bill passed the Florida Senate in early March and now awaits DeSantis' signature. Some polls found that Americans supported the legislation.  

LAKELAND, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - 2021/05/28: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference at LifeScience Logistics to urge the Biden administration to approve Florida's plan to import prescription drugs from Canada, thereby saving Floridians an estimated $100 million annually on drug costs.

LAKELAND, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - 2021/05/28: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference at LifeScience Logistics to urge the Biden administration to approve Florida's plan to import prescription drugs from Canada, thereby saving Floridians an estimated $100 million annually on drug costs. (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A Politico/Morning Consult poll showed that a "slim majority" of Americans supported the legislation. The poll found that 51% of Americans supported the legislation and 37% did not. A different poll, conducted by the University of North Florida, found that 49% did not support the legislation and 40% did approve of the legislation.