Wednesday’s 8th-district debate was mostly a side show, since Republican Daniel Webster declined to take part, citing the venomous nature of his opponent, Rep. Alan Grayson. Four things, though, to be learned from the event:
1. Grayson says the media forced his hand on the now-infamous “Taliban Dan” ad by neglecting to hold his opponent accountable. “We gave you all this information, we gave it to other media outlets, and nobody did anything with it,” Grayson said. “The only way that we can get this information out in front of the public now, is to run these ads. There is no alternative, because the media has left us with no alternative.”
2. Despite the bravado from his campaign — such as the sarcastic pronouncement that, “If Fox News is calling this race a toss-up, we must be winning by at least 23 points,” — Grayson sees the race as too close to call. Asked about a recent survey showing him down by 7 points, Grayson told Battle ‘10 it was a “faked poll,” and said he thinks he and Webster are running neck-and-neck.
3. Did we mention that Grayson really, really does not like the media? Asked if the race was a referendum on his first term, he got testy: “You all can write whatever you want,” he said, before chiding reporters for “dredging up the same stuff.”
4. A bomb lobbed toward Grayson by independent George Metcalfe showed why third-party candidates are usually excluded from debates: “He is more concerned with the rights of terrorists than of the American people. He has gone to the point of calling Daniel Webster ‘Taliban Dan.’ Isn’t it more appropriate to refer to him as ‘Ayatollah Alan?’” See also: “The rent is too damn high.“