ICYMI: Steve Daines Follows DC Consultants in Shifting Blame Onto China for Coronavirus Crisis 

Rachel Prevost2020, Daines, News, Republicans

Monday, June 1, 2020

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ICYMI: Steve Daines Follows DC Consultants in Shifting Blame Onto China for Coronavirus Crisis 
Helena, MT – On Friday, MTPR’s Campaign Beat highlighted Senator Steve Daines’ new television ad that blindly follows orders from Washington, DC consultants to attack China instead of defending President Trump’s botched response to the coronavirus pandemic. Daines’ shameless pivot to “hold China accountable” comes after years of him “actively courting senior Communist Party officials,” doing China’s “political bidding,” and being known as a “China Cheerleader” in DC. 

The show also discussed how the Daines ad engages in a “a little bit of a dog whistle” by asking to investigate debunked claims that the virus was generated in a Chinese lab and follows “the Republican playbook”. 

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“Like you said, there’s a memo that came out from the National Republican Senatorial campaign, sort of a playbook for Republicans on how to handle coronavirus and China. And this ad kind of touches on a lot of points that that memo advised candidates on how to message the framing.

You know, it gets away from any critique of how the U.S. or President Trump might have fumbled our own response to the coronavirus and shifts that blame onto China. So instead of having to defend the president, you can instead go on the attack.

“Daines also had an op-ed that ran in newspapers around the state this week, calling for the secretary of state to investigate what he says are the origins of the outbreak, which is a little bit of a dog whistle to claims that have been made, and pretty generally debunked, about that this virus perhaps generated in a Chinese lab and either escaped or was leaked from that.

It’s something that there’s really not evidence to support, and even Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who had been making this claim, has backed away from it.

You know, this ad doesn’t really talk about, policywise, what holding China accountable would look like. It then does move to this immigration ban that Daines is talking about, again echoing President Trump there. And that’s something where we’ve even seen groups like the National Farmers Unions say that blocking immigrant workers, you know, farm and ag laborers, would actually cause disruptions in a food system that’s already seeing some supply chain issues.

It is an ad that’s pretty along the Republican playbook and just kind of shifts away from things that might be difficult for Republicans to talk about in an election year.” 


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