FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 15, 2020
New York Times: Faced With Crisis and Re-election, Senate Republicans Blame China
By: Catie Edmonston
Fighting for their political lives amid twin domestic crises — a pandemic that has battered the economy — vulnerable Republican senators running for re-election are working to divert voters’ gazes half a world away and make their races a referendum on China. The tactic, party strategists say, is a way for Republicans to avoid defending the president’s handling of the virus, which has been met with widespread public disapproval, and instead offer up an alternative issue that already inspires fear and skepticism among voters.
Facing plummeting standing in the polls and few upbeat messaging options, Ms. McSally and several other Republicans have leaned heavily into the message. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina released a five-point strategy last month meant to hold the Chinese government accountable for its “lies, deception and cover-ups.” A video of him standing in front of a poster, labeled “the Tillis Plan” in all capital letters, breaks down each point. In Montana, Senator Steve Daines, who is facing a challenge from the state’s popular Democratic governor, Steve Bullock, unveiled a digital and television ad campaign centered on casting China as responsible for the virus. Senator Joni Ernst in Iowa posted on Twitter and Facebook condemning “so many bad actions out of China.”
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