ICYMI: “China Cheerleader” Daines Among Vulnerable GOP Senators “Fighting for Their Political Lives” by Pivoting to Anti-China Messaging [NYT]

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Monday, June 15, 2020

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ICYMI: “China Cheerleader” Daines Among Vulnerable GOP Senators “Fighting for Their Political Lives” by Pivoting to Anti-China Messaging [NYT]
 
Helena, MT – Senator Steve Daines and his vulnerable Senate Republican colleagues are desperately attempting to save their political careers by bashing China, in a shameless move to distract from President Trump’s insufficient response to the coronavirus pandemic. Daines’ pivot to anti-China rhetoric comes after years of “actively courting senior Communist Party officials” and doing the country’s “political bidding.” Daines has been so friendly to China while in the Senate that a Chinese government official called him “China’s ambassador in Congress.

New York Times: Faced With Crisis and Re-election, Senate Republicans Blame China
By: Catie Edmonston 
 
Highlights: 
 
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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