Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) attacked Joe Biden's foreign policy record in his speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, arguing that the former senator and vice president has "aided and abetted China’s rise for fifty years with terrible trade deals."

Why it matters: Cotton, a hardline conservative and China hawk, is widely seen as a potential 2024 Republican candidate for president. The Trump campaign and Biden campaign have gone back and forth in accusing each candidate of being soft on China.

Catch up quick: Cotton rattled off a list of what he argued are President Trump's biggest foreign policy wins: killing Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in 2017, and standing up to China through sanctions and tariffs.

What he's saying: "Joe Biden would return us to a weak and dangerous past. Barack Obama’s own secretary of defense said Joe Biden has been wrong on nearly every major national-security decision over the past four decades," Cotton said.

  • Cotton accused Biden of letting "ISIS terrorists rampage across the Middle East" and of treating Israel "like a nuisance," claimed that the Democratic nominee had "coddled socialist dictators in Cuba and Venezuela," and said that he had "allowed Chinese fentanyl to flood across our southern border."
  • "We need a president who stands up for America—not one who takes a knee," he said, appearing to reference a form of protest used by Black Lives Matter protesters.

Context: "I think I stand by that statement," Robert Gates, Obama's former defense secretary, told CBS "Face the Nation" last year when asked if he still believed Biden had been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy issue from the last forty years.

  • The Obama administration did not act on an urgent plea from public health experts in May 2016 to take action against thousands of Americans overdosing from fentanyl, per the Washington Post. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection reportedly did not have the resources to curb fentanyl shipments from Mexico and China.
  • Deaths from drug overdoses, including fentanyl, have continued to climb since then, per the New York Times.

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Engel drops subpoena against Pompeo after receiving records on Hunter Biden probe

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, withdrew a subpoena and contempt threat against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday, after the State Department gave the committee more than 16,000 pages of records related to a probe into Hunter Biden's work for Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Why it matters: House Democrats sought the documents to understand the direction of the Senate Homeland Security Committee's investigation into Hunter Biden led by Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who plans to release a report on the investigation before the election.

Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Biden to Senate GOP after RBG passing: "Please follow your conscience"

Joe Biden made a direct appeal to Senate Republicans in a speech addressing the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, urging them to "cool the flames that have been engulfing our country" by waiting to confirm her replacement until after the election.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said soon after the news of Ginsburg's death that President Trump's nominee would get a vote on the Senate floor.