Grayson takes heat for labeling opponent 'Taliban Dan'

The latest campaign ad from Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) paints his Republican opponent as a religious extremist, labeling him "Taliban Dan."

Grayson, who often finds the national spotlight thanks to attention-grabbing rhetoric aimed at Republicans, faces a tough challenge this fall from state Sen. Dan Webster (R). 

"Religious fanatics try to take away our freedom in Afghanistan, in Iraq and right here in Central Florida," the ad's announcer says before cutting to a black-and-white shot of Webster reciting a Bible passage that reads, "Wives, submit yourself to your own husband."

The ad goes on to accuse Webster of wanting to "impose his radical fundamentalism on us," claiming the Republican tried to deny medical care to abused women and "wants to force raped women to bear the child."

"Taliban Dan Webster — hands off our bodies and our laws," the ad concludes.  

The nonpartisan website FactCheck.org has already said Grayson's spot "lowers the bar" by "using edited video to make his rival appear to be saying the opposite of what he really said."

The 30-second spot employs a clip from Webster speaking at a Christian conference last year; the full clip makes it clear that Grayson's ad quotes Webster wildly out of context. 

The spot was released over the weekend and hit with criticism Monday from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), a prominent Webster backer. Huckabee called the ad "a sleazy, bigoted and Christophobic attack." 

The Webster camp responded Monday with a statement from the candidate's wife, who called the ad "shameful."

"Dan has been an amazing husband and father, and the finest man I have ever known," Sandy Webster said in a statement. "Mr. Grayson should be ashamed of his nasty smears against my husband." 


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