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Leaked Memo: NRSC Told Republican Senators “Don’t Defend Trump” On Coronavirus

New Report Finds GOP Senate Incumbents & Candidates Were Given Talking Points from Washington to Distract From Failed Records

The National Republican Senatorial Committee told Republican Senators “don’t defend Trump” when asked about his handling of the coronavirus response. The 57-page leaked memo reported by POLITICO exposes Republicans for using Washington talking points to blame China — while failing to hold China or President Trump accountable for the public health crisis.  

From the GOP memo, “Corona Big Book: Main Messages”:

“Republican Senators are parroting Mitch McConnell’s talking points because they can’t defend their own records and they’ve been told not to defend the president,” said DSCC spokesperson Helen Kalla. “Ignoring warnings from the intelligence community, sending PPE to China, and failing to properly prepare the country — that’s the legacy of this administration and the Republican Senators who continue to support it, and even their high-paid strategists know it’s a losing one.”

POLITICO: GOP memo urges anti-China assault over coronavirus

By Alex Isenstadt

Key Points:

  • The National Republican Senatorial Committee has sent campaigns a detailed, 57-page memo authored by a top Republican strategist advising GOP candidates to address the coronavirus crisis by aggressively attacking China.
  • The memo includes advice on everything from how to tie Democratic candidates to the Chinese government to how to deal with accusations of racism. 
  • The document urges candidates to stay relentlessly on message against the country when responding to any questions about the virus. When asked whether the spread of the coronavirus is Trump’s fault, candidates are advised to respond by pivoting to China.
  • “Don’t defend Trump, other than the China Travel Ban — attack China,” the memo states.
  • Republicans have indicated they plan to make China a centerpiece of the 2020 campaign… The NRSC memo shows that Republicans are also eager to make China an issue in down-ballot races.
  • The GOP’s planned China-focused assault, however, is complicated by Trump’s occasional praise for President Xi Jinping. The liberal organization American Bridge recently launched a commercial which plays a clip of the president praising Xi and declares that Trump “gave China his trust.”

Read the full story here.

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