Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Grayson shrugs off criticism, stands by 'Taliban Dan' campaign commercial

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, refuses to concede his ad against Republican challenger Dan Webster distorted Webster's views toward women.

"Of course not," he said when asked if he would apologize.

At issue is a campaign commercial portraying Webster as someone who believes wives should "submit" to their husbands. The ad makes it sound that way, and likens Webster to a member of the Taliban.

In fact, Webster was urging the opposite in the video from which an edited comment is taken and replayed in the Grayson ad.

In an interview with the St. Petersburg Times, Grayson denied several times that his ad was false.

"Let's not exalt form over substance," he said. "The substance of the ad is that he has a world view that is unbelievably twisted."

The commercial lifts a partial quote from a comment Webster made in 2007 in a seminar put on by the Institute in Basic Life Principles, in which he urges listeners to have a Bible verse that they associate with their spouses.

Not the one that says "wives submit yourselves to your husbands," he cautioned the audience. "She can pray that if she wants to, but don't you pray it," Webster said.

"The sect that he belongs to is documented on record as having the very beliefs that he was describing, this whole business of submission," Grayson said of the institute.

Webster has been involved with the group for decades, but in a 2003 interview with the Times, he refused to discuss specific teachings.

"People can argue about 'in context, out of context' forever," Grayson said, "but the substance of the ad is demonstratively true."

The ad claimed legislation Webster sponsored as a state legislator would have made divorce illegal, even for abused wives.

The ad has made national news since it began appearing over the weekend. The controversy has given a boost to Webster's campaign and helped him raise about $130,000 in two days.

Could it backfire on Grayson?

"Ask me on Nov. 3," he said.

Grayson shrugs off criticism, stands by 'Taliban Dan' campaign commercial 09/30/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 1, 2010 8:32am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In this Dec. 4, 2016, file photo, Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the third hole during the final round at the Hero World Challenge golf tournament in Nassau, Bahamas. Woods has been arrested on a drunken driving charge in Palm Beach County , various media outlets are reporting. [AP photo]
  2. Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charge in Florida

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods was arrested on a DUI charge Monday in Jupiter, according to the Palm Beach County sheriff's office.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  3. Young male hospitalized after shooting in St. Petersburg

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — A juvenile male was injured Monday morning in a shooting in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S, police said.

    A juvenile was injured in a shooting Monday morning in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S in St. Petersburg. (Zachary Sampson, Tampa Bay Times)
  4. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  5. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts

    Business

    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]