America First Action Super PAC — the largest PAC supporting President Donald Trump — will drop $10 million on ads smearing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as "Beijing Biden" beginning this Friday.
The ads, which will appear in the three swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, criticize Biden's leadership and his relationship to China, alleging that the former vice president's "weakness" led to "hundreds of thousands" of jobs being sent overseas.
The messages will be tweaked for the audiences of each specific state. In the Michigan ad — called "40 years" — Biden says, "I believed in 1979 . . . and I believe now that a rising China is a positive development." The Wisconsin ad — "Stop China. Stop Joe Biden." — includes a clip of him encouraging China's economic growth. The Pennsylvania ad is called "Joe Biden: China's not bad folks" and features the former vice president saying, "They're not bad folks."
In 2016, a combined 80,000 votes in the trio of states put President Donald Trump over the top against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Polls show Trump currently underwater in all three states, which both campaigns see as make-or-break in 2020.
Biden recently criticized Trump's mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic, saying the president fails to demonstrate "almost any moral leadership" and his rhetoric on China is rife with "casual racism and regular xenophobia."
In conjunction with the ad campaign, America First is launching a website called BeijingBiden.com. A spokesperson said that the website "will be updated with all of the latest op-eds, news articles and content" about Biden's relationship with China. It will also detail China's alleged "misdeeds, cover-up, corruption and fraud" about the pandemic — including allegations against the World Health Organization.
The PACs messaging was also rolled out in a Washington Times op-ed timed with today's announcement. The op-ed, written by America First communications director and former White House adviser Kelly Sadler — who mocked Senator John McCain's health in 2018 and was fired after accusing an aide of leaking to the press — criticizes Biden's leadership during the crisis and claims China allowed "the spread of a massive global pandemic" as part of "a geostrategic opportunity to further their plan to be the dominant world power."
Sadler also references a U.S. intelligence report, which concluded that China underreported numbers of deaths and cases, as well as instructed health officials — some of whom, she claims, have gone "missing" — to destroy their research and refuse to cooperate with the international organizations.
Trump, however, routinely expresses admiration for Chinese President Xi Jinping and has previously praised the Chinese government's response to the pandemic. Trump tweeted in February that Xi "is strong, sharp and powerfully focused" on "what will be a very successful operation." The president added that China had shown "great discipline." And in tweets from February and March, he assured the world that his administration was "working closely" with the Xi regime in its response.
The Biden attacks keep with the Trump campaign's long-running efforts to smear the former vice president and his family. Those efforts, spearheaded by Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani and his work in Ukraine, last year led to the president's impeachment.