FL-8: Orlando Sentinel endorses Dan Webster
Down in Florida’s Eighth Congressional District, the Orlando Sentinel has endorsed Dan Webster over Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), the truth-challenged, stunningly arrogant freshman:
In only two years in the U.S. House, representing a district that runs north from Celebration into Orange, Lake and Marion counties, Mr. Grayson has become nationally notorious for his over-the-top attacks on Republicans. Who could forget these greatest hits? He declared that the GOP health plan was for Americans to “die quickly” if they get sick. He used a vulgar acronym to say that former Vice President Dick Cheney should shut up. He called Republicans “knuckle-dragging Neanderthals.”
He has kept up this scorched-earth approach in his re-election campaign, branding Mr. Webster “Taliban Dan” and “a draft dodger” in a couple of ads. Independent fact-checking organizations have judged those ads as false. So have we.
Mr. Grayson’s antics are not merely an embarrassment to himself and his district. They deepen the partisan divide that has left Congress almost dysfunctional.
In sharp contrast to Mr. Grayson, Mr. Webster was a Republican state legislator for nearly three decades whose civility and statesmanship earned him the admiration of Democrats. He wasn’t just a nice guy; he was effective. He played a leading role in raising education standards, reforming welfare and opening lawmaking to more public scrutiny. During his term as House speaker, Republicans and Democrats agreed to a statewide expansion of Healthy Families, a successful program to prevent child abuse and neglect.
Like other Republicans running this year, Mr. Webster has pledged to bring federal spending under control. His call, however, to roll back spending to 2007 levels is unrealistic, as is his vow to cut taxes. We take more comfort from his experience in balancing state budgets year after year.
Mr. Grayson has attacked Mr. Webster for his arch-conservative positions on abortion and other social issues. We don’t care much for those positions, either. We urge him, if elected, to focus instead on bipartisan solutions to the nation’s biggest problems, starting with reviving the economy. His experience in Tallahassee gives us good reason to think he can.
We endorse Dan Webster.
Grayson has taken his antics too far. As has been pointed out here before, he has threatened to imprison an activist for running a website critical of him, accused Republicans of wanting the sick to “die quickly, used taxpayer dollars to promote himself and called a Fed official a “K Street Whore.” He has also run two very dishonest ads against his opponent, as noted by the Orlando Sentinel.
Here is the paper’s video interview with Webster: