According to a report at the Daily Beast on plans by Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign to lean on anti-China rhetoric as a centerpiece of the drive to re-election, officials in Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign revealed they have a plan of their own to make Trump’s criticism of China over the coronavirus boomerang on the president.
With the Beast noting that the president has used xenophobia to good effect in 2016, one Trump campaign official admitted that they have plans to link China to Biden now that the president no longer has a booming economy to run on.
“[China’s] among many weaknesses, but when people learn about Biden’s attack on the president’s China travel ban, his other weak positions on China, and his conflict with Hunter Biden’s business deal with China, voters are horrified,” explained Trump pollster John McLaughlin, with the Beast report adding, “Other Trump 2020 officials said that the campaign had always intended to hammer Biden on China until the election in November, and the coronavirus ‘angle’ was merely another way to go after the Bidens and China simultaneously.”
One Democratic pollster said the ads might be effective.
“A lot of times people on the left tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to Trump’s racism and xenophobia that disallows them from taking it as seriously as a messaging tactic as it is,” explained Ian Sams of Navigator Research. “The public is pretty anti-China right now. And I think there is validity to the idea that they’ve been less than transparent and hid information on this virus. And Trump is seizing on that… We can’t just let Trump’s lies be the only thing out there.”
That, however, does not mean that Joe Biden’s campaign is going to allow the attacks to go unanswered.
According to Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates, Trump has his own history with China that goes beyond the last three years of trade fights and missteps.
“Despite repeated warnings from the U.S. intelligence community—and public warnings from Joe Biden—that he shouldn’t take China’s word about containment of the outbreak, Donald Trump praised China’s response for weeks while downplaying the threat to us,” Bates stated. “Now we have the most coronavirus cases in the world and we’re losing millions of jobs. Any time Donald Trump says the word ‘China,’ he accomplishes one thing: reminding the American people of his historic failure to prepare our nation for the worst public health crisis in generations.”
Coupled with Trump’s flatlining poll numbers, Democrats hope to use Trump’s China trade failures — as well as the coronavirus pandemic that has shut down the country and left millions jobless on his watch — as a big weapon to be used against the president.
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