Screenshot of a Politico report published on April 24, 2020 that details a memo sent by the National Republican Senatorial Committee to GOP campaigns. The memo advises Republican candidates to address the COVID-19 pandemic by aggressively attacking China.
WASHINGTON – "Don't defend Trump, other than the China Travel Ban – attack China," a detailed memo sent by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) to GOP campaigns has advised, urging Republican candidates to address the COVID-19 pandemic by aggressively attacking China.
The 57-page strategy document, obtained by Politico on Friday, includes advice on everything from how to tie Democratic candidates to the Chinese government to how to deal with accusations of racism, according to a Politico report.
"What a playbook. Have a look!" Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying tweeted in response later on Friday.
The memo advises Republican candidates to blame the Chinese government when President Donald Trump is questioned over his handling of the pandemic
The memo is focused on three main lines of assault: That China caused the virus "by covering it up," that Democrats are "soft on China," and that Republicans will "push for sanctions on China for its role in spreading this pandemic," Politico summarized.
The memo also advises Republican candidates to blame the Chinese government when President Donald Trump is questioned over his handling of the pandemic and to reject claims that calling COVID-19 the "Chinese virus" is racist.
"The memo should be titled 'The Blame Game for Dummies'", a person called John Mac Cormack commented online.
"This is the Republican message? I guess that is all they have left. Cannot run on fiscal responsibility, cannot run on the economy, cannot run on healthcare, cannot run on jobs, cannot run on crisis management, so I guess this is it, blame China. Repubs always need a boogeyman. 2016 was Mexico, now its China in 2020," another online user Patrick Lowry wrote.
Republicans have indicated they plan to make China a centerpiece of the 2020 campaign, said the Politico report, noting the president's reelection campaign has weighed a major TV ad campaign focused on the topic.
The NRSC, which is the Senate GOP campaign arm, distributed the document but did not commission it, according to Politico. The memo was authored by the political consulting firm of Brett O'Donnell, a veteran Republican strategist who has advised Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton.
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