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Graham: Fox Debate Criteria, ‘Dumb,’ Rewards ‘Celebrity,’ I ‘Resent’ It

South Carolina Senator and Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham sharply criticized the criteria for inclusion in Fox News’ August presidential debate on Friday’s “America’s Newsroom” on the Fox News Channel.

Graham agreed that the polling suggests he would not make the August Fox debate because he isn’t in the top 10 candidates and said he was undecided on whether he would participate in Fox’s forum for candidates do not have the poll numbers to make it on the debate stage. He continued, “Brad Pitt would be in the debate in August. Anybody with any celebrity would be in the debate. I think this is a dumb way to weed out the field. I don’t mind weeding out the field over time, but a national poll tests celebrity, big states have an advantage versus small states, people who have run before have an advantage over those who haven’t, it’s July for God’s sakes. So, a national poll is a lousy way, in my view, to determine who should be on the stage. And I, quite frankly, resent it.”

He added that he would “find a way for everybody who’s filed and has got a viable campaign to be on the stage” and weed down the field after a few debates. He added that “money and celebrity” were being rewarded over “hard work in the early states” and that the national poll criteria was “destroying the early primary of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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