Biden, Trump Blame China, Each Other

Big buys in battleground states make pandemic response the issue
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2020 8:25 AM CDT
Trump, Biden Argue Over Who's Soft on China
People wearing face masks to protect themselves against the spread of the new coronavirus walk across a pedestrian bridge in the central business district in Beijing on Friday.   (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

With the Trump administration increasingly blaming the pandemic on China, the president's reelection campaign has broadened the attacks to include Joe Biden. America First Action, the main super PAC supporting President Trump, spent $10 million on TV ads to run in battleground states that say China "stole American manufacturing and hoarded our emergency stockpile," the Los Angeles Times reports. The ads include old video of Biden sounding uncritical of China. "Now more than ever, America must stop China," the voiceover says, "and to stop China you have to stop Joe Biden." The Trump campaign has decided China will be a critical issue in the November election. Its research "shows that Joe Biden’s softness on China is a major vulnerability," a spokesman said.

The Biden campaign has geared up in response, making a $15 million buy in the same states. "Trump praised the Chinese 15 times in January and February," a digital ad released Saturday says, per the Huffington Post. One released Friday says Trump left open a position for a US official in China's disease control center, shutting the CDC out when the coronavirus outbreak began. "China said no, and Donald Trump didn’t insist on access," the voiceover says. Although campaign appearances are canceled, Trump has been able to push his narrative during his nationally broadcast daily press briefings at the White House. Without a comparable platform, the former vice president has been doing TV and internet appearances from his home basement. (Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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