Republican Florida House hopeful Daniel Webster says he has pulled in $70,000 in campaign funds in the two days since Democratic opponent Rep. Alan Grayson released an attack ad comparing Webster's views to those of the Taliban.
Webster campaign manager Brian Graham told Fox News Wednesday morning that online contributions totaled $60,000 and climbing, and a tracker on Webster's campaign website shows contributions by noontime have grown to the $70,000 mark.
Grayson's "Taliban Dan" ad, which calls Webster a "religious fanatic" who opposes women's rights, was immediately flagged as containing a number of untruths about the former state senator's record and prompted outrage the Webster camp says inspired a flood of online contributions. University of Pennsylvania's Factcheck.org reports the ad's claim that "Daniel Webster thinks wives should submit to their husbands" is false-Webster's comments in this case were excerpted from a 2009 speech at a conservative religious group conference where he apparently advised just the opposite.
"It made people angry," Graham told Fox News. "It offended people. To compare a statesman like Daniel Webster to a terrorist organization is unconscionable."
Graham said the ad also had the unintended consequence of introducing his candidate to more voters.
"That very same anger caused a lot of media attention and press attention that Daniel Webster wouldn't have gotten otherwise, so perhaps we should send Mr. Grayson a thank you note," Graham said.
This is not the first time Grayson has garnered such media attention. A viral video made rounds in August that showed Grayson crashing a Florida county GOP meeting, where he accused Republican operatives in a heated exchange of spying on an Organizing for America conference.
Grayson, who trails Webster by seven points in a recent Sunshine State News Poll, stands by the "Taliban Dan" ad, telling MSNBC in a contentious interview Wednesday, "The Taliban tried to impose their bizarre religious views on the rest of us, and so does my opponent."
Webster talks with Fox News's Martha MacCallum on America Live Wednesday about the ad's allegations and the fundraising boom he's seen since its release.