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Attack ad over the top? Alan Grayson compares opponent to Taliban.

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Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/AP/file

(Read caption) Rep. Alan Grayson (D) of Florida walks with union members during the AFL-CIO Labor Day Jobs Rally at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando, Fla., on Sept. 6.

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In a campaign season of negative ads, it’s one of the nastiest.

In it, Florida Rep. Alan Grayson (D) – the man who once said the Republicans' health-care plan was for ill Americans to "die quickly" – calls Republican challenger Daniel Webster “Taliban Dan” and compares him to “religious fanatics” in Afghanistan and Iran.

But the stir it’s causing may end up helping Mr. Webster.

On Monday, the website, a nonpartisan site sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, took the ad to task for being blatantly misleading.

It repeatedly runs clips of Webster saying wives should submit to their husbands. But the clips, asserts the website, are taken out of context. “In fact,” says the website, “Webster was cautioning husbands to avoid taking that passage as their own. The unedited quote is: ‘Don’t pick the ones [Bible verses] that say, “She should submit to me.” ’ ”

The ad makes other claims about Webster’s views, some of which – like the fact that he believes abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape – are true. But others, like its assertion that Webster would “deny battered women … the right to divorce their abusers,” calls a distortion. It’s based in legislation that Webster sponsored 20 years ago that would have given people the option of a “covenant marriage,” which could only be dissolved in cases of adultery.

Congressman Grayson, meanwhile, defended his ad.


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