Lindsey Graham Protests ‘Brad Pitt’ Debate

The Republican presidential candidate gripes that the debates will be shaped by celebrity and name recognition.

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Actor Brad Pitt speaks onstage during the 26th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala at Palm Springs Convention Center on January 3, 2015 in Palm Springs, California.

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for PSIFF

Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham is launching a protest of the "Brad Pitt" debate.

In an e-mail Tuesday, the South Carolina senator urged supporters to sign a petition protesting the terms of an Aug.  6 debate, the first scheduled faceoff among the Republican presidential contenders. Fox News, the debate sponsor, has said it will allow 10 candidates, based on their standing in the polls.

Graham, at distinct risk of being left out, suggesting Brad Pitt, the A-list star of movies like Fight Club and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, "would have a better shot of being on the debate stage than real candidates for president" because the current "criterion favors celebrities and candidates who have run previously with high name recognition."

Read more about the wide Republican field angling for the ten available spots in the upcoming debates.

Another celebrity-turned-presidential candidate, real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump, has polling numbers that give him a virtual lock on an onstage seat. 

Fox News has said it will rely on candidates' standing in national polls to decide who will head to the stage but hasn't yet specific which polls it will use.

Graham receives support from about one percent of registered Republicans in swing states, according to a recent poll from Quinnipiac University, meaning he'd be unlikely to make the cutoff for the first Republican primary debate. 

"Republican primary voters deserve to hear from all the candidates, not just the ones network executives pick to be on stage," Graham wrote in his email.

Fox News has said it will rely on candidates' standing in national polls to decide who will head to the stage but hasn't yet specific which polls it will use.

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