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Republican leaders furious with Trump for blowing up their key campaign talking point before the 2020 election: report

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According to a report from the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin, a key talking point that the Republican Party — as well as embattled GOP candidates seeking to hold into their seats — hoped to use this election season is being taken away from them because of Donald Trump’s flip-flopping.

At issue were plans by the Republican Party to make China a central issue as the 2020 election heated up, blaming one of the United States’ largest trading partner for the coronavirus pandemic — while also linking the country to former Vice President Joe Biden who is expected to the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.

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According to the report, the GOP is having to retool their plans because of the president’s unreliability and inability to “stay on message.”

“The strategy could not be clearer: From the Republican lawmakers blanketing Fox News to new ads from President Trump’s super PAC to the biting criticism on Donald Trump Jr.’s Twitter feed, the G.O.P. is attempting to divert attention from the administration’s heavily criticized response to the coronavirus by pinning the blame on China,” the report begins. “Republican senators locked in difficult races are preparing commercials condemning China. Conservatives with future presidential ambitions of their own, like Senators Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley, are competing to see who can talk tougher toward the country where the virus first emerged. Party officials are publicly and privately brandishing polling data in hopes Mr. Trump will confront Beijing.”

However the president is still concerned with getting a favorable trade deal with China which is throwing a monkey-wrench into his party’s plans.

“Eager to continue trade talks, uneasy about further rattling the markets and hungry to protect his relationship with President Xi Jinping at a moment when the United States is relying on China’s manufacturers for lifesaving medical supplies, Mr. Trump has repeatedly muddied Republican efforts to fault China,” the Times report states. “Even as the president tries to rebut criticism of his slow response to the outbreak by highlighting his January travel restrictions on China, he has repeatedly called Mr. Xi a friend and said ‘we are dealing in good faith’ with the repressive government. He also dropped his periodic references to the disease as “the China virus” after a telephone call with Mr. Xi.”

The report points out that in private the president continually rages at China, which Republicans find encouraging for campaign purposes, but in public he sings a different tune.

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 “On Tuesday, at his daily briefing, Mr. Trump was candid about the transactional rationale behind his stance toward China,” the report continues. “Pressed on how he could criticize the World Health Organization for what he called pushing ‘China’s misinformation,’ after he had also lavished praise on Beijing’s purported transparency, he responded, ‘Well, I did a trade deal with China, where China is supposed to be spending $250 billion in our country.'”

“Mr. Trump’s clashing comments on China illustrate not only his unreliability as a political messenger but also his longstanding ambivalence over how to approach the world’s second-largest economy. He ran for president four years ago vowing to get tough with China, but his ambition was not to isolate the Chinese but to work with them — and especially for the United States to make more money from the relationship,” Haberman and Martin wrote. “This goal has prompted him to often lavish flattery on Mr. Xi, most memorably when Mr. Trump rhapsodized about the way they bonded over “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you’ve ever seen” at his Mar-a-Lago resort in 2017.”

According to Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) the president’s flip-flopping has become more than problematic.

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Cramer, “said Democrats were courting political risk if they were seen as defending China. But he conceded that Mr. Trump’s ‘rhetoric about Xi gets confusing.'”

“I’d have a hard time being that nice to a communist leader,” he added. “but the president knows he’s got to appeal to an audience of one there.”

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2020 Election

‘One whopper after another’: CNN’s Acosta tears into Trump for lying the Postal Service can’t deliver enough ballots

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta slammed President Donald Trump's litany of lies about mail-in voting at the day's coronavirus press briefing.

"Right at the end of that press conference, the president was just telling one whopper after another about mail-in voting, at one point saying that he doesn't believe that the U.S. Postal Service has the ability to deal with mail-in balloting at election time," said Acosta. "We just need to point out, the U.S. Postal Service put out a statement late this afternoon that says, 'the Postal Service has ample capacity to adjust our nationwide processing and delivery network to meet projected election and political mail volume, including any additional volume that may result as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.'"

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2020 Election

Trump’s strategy isn’t working in Pennsylvania — a state the president can’t afford to lose: report

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Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio are the four states that GOP strategists have been describing as President Donald Trump’s “Rust Belt firewall” — states that went to President Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012 but favored Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. But that “firewall” has not been holding up for the president. Trump’s reelection campaign has "temporarily" suspended its advertising in Michigan, although it continues to advertise in the other three — all of which are clearly in play for former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. And Philadelphia-based reporter Holly Otterbein, in an article published in Politico on August 2, stresses that so far, Trump’s attacks on Biden have not been resonating in Pennsylvania.

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2020 Election

A 2020 ‘Blue Wave’ could badly cripple the Republican Party for years: Dem strategist

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In a column for New York magazine, Democratic strategist Ed Kilgore claimed that a "Blue Wave" election in 2020, like the one that switched the balance of power in the House to the Democrats, could have a far-reaching impact on congressional representation in elections to come.

In 2018, distaste for Donald Trump -- who was not on the ballot -- led voters to take out their wrath on Republican lawmakers, handing Democrats a net gain of 40 seats in the House and making Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the House Speaker.

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