Updated Apr 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden's "four Cs" of Trump coronavirus criticism

Joe Biden speaks at an event in March in Delware. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Watch for Joe Biden and his surrogates to stand up a disciplined criticism of President Trump's coronavirus response around "the four Cs," per a campaign memo obtained by Axios: "Coverup." "Chaos." "Corporate favoritism." And "caving" to lobbyists.

Why it matters: The memo signals the presumptive Democratic nominee's intention to make Trump's handling of the pandemic a central attack and provides the first detailed look at how his campaign intends to do it.

  • It was sent Tuesday to Democratic strategists and elected officials by deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield.
  • She wrote that many of its recipients have sought guidance from the campaign on how to talk about Trump and the virus.

Details: Trump is "responsible for unimaginable pain and suffering — and we need to be clear and unshakeable in communicating this to the American people," the memo says.

  • It charges that Trump bought China's "spin" and "went AWOL" early in the crisis even as "other countries, like our ally South Korea, mobilized and ramped up testing.".
  • It urges a public emphasis on two areas of impact: the death toll ("Over 40,000 Americans have already lost their lives to COVID-19") and unemployment rates ("We are losing millions of jobs at an unprecedented speed in our history.")
  • It argues that Trump was slow to enact the Defense Production Act because he was "caving to lobbying from big corporations worried that it would hurt their profits."

Between the lines: Biden's campaign team believes the coronavirus highlights contrasts in leadership between Trump and Biden — and they hope it can help Biden at the ballot box.

  • Biden told donors during a virtual fundraiser last week: "Your friends and coworkers are dying, our family members and friends and neighbors are dying, while Trump is having a temper tantrum."
  • The Trump campaign, meanwhile, has signaled plans to paint Biden as "soft" on China.

Memo link here.

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