Ron DeSantis plays up ‘poem ban hoax’ for Iowa crowd

DeSantis Rapids Cedar
The presidential candidate defended the removal of Amanda Gorman's poem in Cedar Rapids.

Florida’s Governor is talking poetry in the Hawkeye State as he closes out his two-day, five-stop swing.

Specifically, he’s talking about what he calls a “poem ban hoax.”

Ron DeSantis told a campaign crowd in Cedar Rapids removal of work from the National Youth Poet Laureate from a Miami Lakes elementary school had nothing to do with him, but coverage of “the poem ban hoax” nonetheless illustrated “the dishonesty of legacy media outlets.”

“This had nothing to do with me. Nothing to do with the State of Florida. There was a school in Miami-Dade that had a book of poems. I guess the poet was involved with Joe Biden’s inauguration,” DeSantis said of the work by Amanda Gorman being removed from a Miami Lakes Elementary School after a challenge in which the author was misidentified as Oprah Winfrey.

“So I don’t know, but it was a book of poems and they decided that it was more appropriate in the middle school library than in the elementary school library,” DeSantis said regarding “The Hill We Climb,” which was read at President Biden’s inauguration.

“So they just moved the book, you know, to the next library and the media tried to say that somehow that was being banned because something like the state of Florida was doing, I mean, it was a total fabrication and a total hoax.”

“And so literally, the Miami-Dade school district has got to put out a statement saying nothing has been banned. We literally just moved it to middle school because we think that’s more appropriate, you know, at that level,” DeSantis added.

The Associated Press reports the literary work is on the “restricted list.” Miami-Dade clarified the book is now part of the “middle grades collection” in a tweet that didn’t mollify critics.

“But it’s a lesson in the dishonesty of legacy media outlets. They want to create narratives to advance their agenda, but they don’t care about the facts and they’re not going to try to inform you of the facts if it conflicts with their agenda.”

DeSantis made similar points Monday to the Florida Parent-Educators Association Homeschool Convention, a group that wouldn’t be affected by school libraries precisely because they homeschool and shun traditional public schools.

For her part, Gorman frames the action as a “book ban.” But DeSantis’ bet is that the Iowa Republican crowd was short on aficionados of contemporary poetry.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Michael K

    May 31, 2023 at 9:41 pm

    The only dishonesty is the one-trick homophobic pony that has nothing to offer the American people except bigotry. While he is off fighting drag queens, your property insurance are soaring – if you can find a carrier. One of the reasons? Climate change, which like all science, DeSantis denies. But by all means, more guns on the streets, no questions or training. But women? Forced to give brith. America will have the good sense to just say no to the White grievance promise of an American Taliban with DeSaster and his Jackie-O-wannabe wife.

  • Ed's Marxist Twin Brother 👍

    May 31, 2023 at 10:22 pm

    Get this guy off the stage. No chance for president. He will dye his hair blue and move to The Villages. He’s blown it sky high.

    • Ocean Joe

      June 1, 2023 at 8:41 am

      He will be an outcast at the Villages as soon as he starts telling others how to drive their golf carts and that Bingo is woke.
      He can’t help himself.

  • Bwj

    May 31, 2023 at 11:11 pm

    Semantics on DeSantis ‘s part. No not banned from the school, but we’ve determined that some students are incapable of reading, asking questions and understanding the meaning. Gorman isn’t talking about LGBT issues or CRT.

  • PeterH

    June 1, 2023 at 1:00 am

    The legislature and Ron DeSantis’s policies have created a purposefully vague law that was reviewed by at least two lawyers, Florida deplorable Attorney General and Ton DeSantis.

    Republicans are America’s biggest problem!
    Vote all Republicans out of office.

  • University of North Florida

    June 1, 2023 at 8:44 am

    Hoax, Happened!! Hate this guy as an absentee Governor ! Absolute trash that bases his entire leadership off of conservative talking points not on his constituents viewpoints. Hope he is ending his career and I’m guessing he is.

    • Its Casey

      June 6, 2023 at 10:01 am

      Rhonda isn’t ending his career. Casey is ending his career. She wants to sink his ship so she isn’t viewed in as negative a light when she climbs the ladder to become Mrs Elon Musk. So she thinks. LOL. She ain’t that bright, I reckon.

  • Tom

    June 2, 2023 at 9:45 am

    And in other breaking news, Rob DeSantis sues God claiming that rainbows are gay and young people can see them right there in the sky when it rains. We ain’t havin’ none of that nonsense in Floriduh said Casey ‘no-one-voted-for-me-ever’ DeSantis.

  • Dont Say FLA

    June 5, 2023 at 4:55 pm

    Did Rhonda get the Sunshine State’s sunshine laws changed for himself to conceal the amount of Florida taxpayer money to be wasted defending lawsuits over their indefensible culture war nonsense which is just Rhonda abusing his position as Florida’s Governor trying to get attention for himself?

  • The real hoax

    June 6, 2023 at 9:46 am

    The real hoax is that Casey should be on fashion magazine covers. She planted that idea in Rhonda’s head, hoping to get herself onto some magazine covers where she might catch the eye of her intended new guy, Elon Musk

  • Read It, Rhonda

    June 6, 2023 at 9:58 am

    Ron can easily disprove allegations that his so-called leadership is behind the inaugural poem being banned.
    All he has to do is read the poem aloud at his campaign events.
    If Rhonda reads the poem aloud, I will accept Rhonda’s story that the poem ban’s a hoax.
    Obviously this will not be happening. Because the poem ban is not a hoax.

Comments are closed.


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