Fake Candidate Beats Jeb Bush And Lindsey Graham In Straw Poll

| by Meg O'Connor
Jeb Bush at Southern Republican Leadership Conference May 2015Jeb Bush at Southern Republican Leadership Conference May 2015

"Honest Gil" Fulbright, a mock-candidate played by actor Frank Ridley, has reportedly beat Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham in a recent New Hampshire straw poll.

Fulbright parodies politicians for the nonpartisan group Represent.us, an organization dedicated to campaign finance reform. 

Though Fulbright isn't on any ballot, he did give a speech at the libertarian Republican Liberty Caucus' national convention in Nashua, New Hampshire, TIME reports. 

The event started on Oct. 8 and ended on Oct. 11, according to the RLC's website.

Throughout the speech, Fulbright cracked jokes at the Republican candidates' expense, ultimately leading him to beat two of the candidates in the straw poll.

“Face it, I am a puppet for special interests and lobbyists,” Fulbright said, according to TIME. “And I will break any campaign promises that rub my donors the wrong way.”

Fulbright received 12 votes in the straw poll, far behind the Republican Liberty Caucus convention's winner, libertarian Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who won the poll with 445, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Fulbright did, however, come out ahead of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former New York Gov. George Pataki, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

TIME reports that Fulbright's stump speech might have helped him win those votes, as it included a number of jibes aimed at Bush and Graham.

“Now there’s a guy who has raised hundreds of millions of dollars without saying anything of appreciable substance,” Fulbright said, referring to Bush.

“His donors even call him a straw man, stuffed with cash," he added.

He also took shots at Graham during his speech.

“Some have pointed out that I’m not on the ballot anywhere,” Fulbright said. “But despite this obstacle, I’m still in a dead heat with Lindsey Graham.”

Josh Silver, the director of Represent.us, told TIME that Fulbright's success in the straw poll was a “pleasant surprise, but not a huge one.” 

“Voters on both sides of the aisle are fed up with politicians who represent special interests and lobbyists instead of the American people,” Silver said. “Honest Gil strikes a chord because he exposes our corrupt political system for what it is.”

Sources: TIME, Chicago Sun-Times, New Hampshire Union Leader, RLC / Photo credit: Wikimedia, YouTube