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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

In the coming weeks and months, Democrats plan to argue that President Trump "rolled over" for China as the coronavirus crisis worsened because "he sought a deal to begin undoing the damage caused by his trade policies," per a new memo reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: Top Trump campaign officials said they'll paint Joe Biden as "soft" on China as a major line of attack during the 2020 race. The new memo by Democratic National Committee officials outlines a rebuttal as Biden prepares for the general election race against Trump.

  • This new memo is the sixth in a series called "In Focus: Trump’s Disastrous Coronavirus Response."

Trump's campaign this month released a controversial digital ad bashing Biden as overly friendly and deferential to Beijing.

  • The president's team has sought to turn a critical focus on the former vice president's past posture toward China to counter criticism of Trump's handling of the coronavirus or approaches to China.

What they're saying: The DNC's War Room writes in the memo that it's an understatement to call Trump weak on China and that he "rolled over in a way that has been catastrophic for our country" and "put himself and his political fortunes first."

  • The memo quotes a NYT article describing internal disputes in the administration over dealing with China, trade talks and the virus.
  • It also cites Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and economic adviser Larry Kudlow talking about how the coronavirus might interfere with trade negotiations.

The other side: "They are only doing this because Joe Biden has a big China problem," Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told Axios in an email.

  • "Democrats wailed endlessly about Trump's tough tactics on China, so it's a joke that they would now try to paint him as soft."
  • "Joe Biden called the President's travel restrictions on China 'xenophobic' and 'reactionary.' All this memo does is prove that Joe Biden and his Democrat allies are not serious people."

Go deeper

By the numbers: Census to show first decline of white population

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Census Bureau via Brookings Institute; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The latest census is expected to show the first decline in history for the nation's non-Hispanic white population, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Brookings Institution's William Frey.

Why it matters: The U.S. is rapidly moving toward a majority-minority population — with the racial and ethnic diversity most apparent in younger cohorts. "This really is moving in a direction that’s going to favor the issues and the political agendas of these younger people," Frey told Axios.

Democrats plot filibuster workarounds

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Several Democratic lawmakers are moving away from calls to eliminate the filibuster while privately discussing alternatives to bypass it, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: These talks have ramped up in earnest following the Republicans’ move Tuesday to block a measure to protect and expand voting rights.

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Infrastructure's remaining potholes

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

President Biden declared victory in announcing the bipartisan infrastructure package. Now comes the hard part: negotiating with his own party on the separate reconciliation bill.

Why it matters: By trying to simultaneously pass two massive spending bills, Biden and congressional leaders are attempting a legislative feat that will likely require Congress to work through its August recess — and potentially well into the fall, according to lawmakers and senior staffers.