Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, is continuing to ratchet up his campaign against former state Sen. Dan Webster in the race to represent for Florida’s 8th district, releasing a video over the weekend entitled “Taliban Dan” that in no uncertain terms focuses on Webster’s fundamentalist religious views as they relate to women’s rights and abortion.
Grayson’s previous attack ad, “Draft Dodger,” attempted to slam Webster for failing to serve his country in Vietnam, a claim that factcheck.org called “one of the nastiest we have seen so far this year.” War veterans have since decried that ad, saying the images of a smiling Grayson with a former Marine imply an endorsement and calling the TV spot “inexcusable and despicable.”
The “Taliban Dan” ad, which features a female narrator, reads as follows:
Religious fanatics try to take away our freedom, in Afghanistan, in Iran and right here in Central Florida. Daniel Webster wants to impose his radical fundamentalism on us. Webster tried to deny battered women medical care, and the right to divorce their abusers. He wants to force raped women to bear the child. Taliban Dan Webster. Hands off our bodies and our laws.
The video also features a number of clips from Webster speaking at a conference hosted by the Institute for Basic Life Principles, a fundamentalist organization that preaches a literal interpretation of the Bible, including the belief that women should submit to their husbands’ authority.
“Wives, submit yourself to your own husband,” Webster says. “She should submit to me. That’s in the Bible.”
Webster claims not to have seen the ad, telling local news station WOFL in Orlando that his remarks shown in the ad are undoubtedly taken out of context. “I certainly don’t talk in three- or four-word statements,” he said.
Grayson’s camp has so far denied requests to release the entire source video of Webster’s conference.
In another interview regarding the ad, Webster avoided answering questions about his stance on abortion, prompting a WKMG reporter to tell Orlando television audiences: “Yes, Webster is opposed to all abortions, even for victims of rape and incest, an issue he doesn’t want to talk about.”
Calls to Dan Webster’s campaign seeking comment for this article were not returned, however, his wife issued a statement this afternoon:
This weekend Alan Grayson released his third negative television advertisement against Daniel Webster. So far, Grayson’s negative ads have outnumbered his positive ads (3-2). It is clear that Mr. Grayson would rather talk about issues from twenty years ago than the issues of the past two years. First Grayson mislead voters about a stairway, then he misleads them regarding Mr. Webster’s inability to serve in our military, and now Grayson compares Webster to the Taliban.
“Alan Grayson’s latest attack on my husband is shameful. Mr. Grayson seems to have a problem telling the truth and no problem misleading the public,” said Sandy Webster, who has been married to Daniel for thirty-eight years. “Dan has been an amazing husband and father, and the finest man I have ever known. Mr. Grayson should be ashamed of his nasty smears against my husband.”
Alan Grayson compares Webster to the Taliban, but the odd thing is that Grayson doesn’t even support our troops efforts in the Middle East to combat the Taliban or other Muslim extremist groups.
“Alan Grayson is at it again, misleading voters with nasty negative ads against Senator Webster. Mr. Grayson is certainly no champion of respecting women, he even publicly called a woman a ‘K Street whore.’ To compare Daniel Webster to the Taliban is ludicrous,” said Webster Spokesman, Brian Graham. “Alan Grayson is simply trying to distract voters from his record of higher taxes, increased debt, and rising unemployment. Central Florida deserves better than Mr. Grayson’s gutter-politics.”
Daniel Webster, a family man and small-business owner, has dedicated himself to serve the citizens of central Florida with honor and integrity. Daniel Webster served as Majority Leader of the Florida Senate and the first GOP Speaker of the House in over a century.
Daniel Webster has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, the American Conservative Union, the House Conservatives Fund, Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Bob Martinez, US Senator George LeMieux, US Senator Connie Mack, Congressman Mike Pence, Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson, former Comptroller Bob Milligan, former Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, former Secretary of State Sandra Mortham, Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty, Orange County Clerk of Court Lydia Gardner, Orange County Property Appraiser Bill Donegan, Orange County Commissioner Fred Brummer, Orange County School Board Member Christine Moore, former RPOF Chairman Tom Slade, former Senate President Ken Pruitt, former RPOF Chairman Van Poole, former Senate President Tom Lee, former Speaker Tom Feeney, former Senate President John McKay, former Speaker Allan Bense, and former Senate President Jim Scott.