Kudos to Lachlan Markay from The Daily Beast for highlighting this:
In mid-April, national Republicans urged their Senate candidates to focus their coronavirus messaging on Chinese misdeeds. The day before, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) had already started buying television ads doing just that.
Daines’ campaign moved on April 16 to reserve TV ad time for a 30-second spot that alleged, in the words of campaign filings with the Federal Communications Commission: “China is responsible for the coronavirus and needs to be held accountable.”
The TV buy followed weeks of digital advertising by the campaign hitting the same message, and efforts by Daines in his official capacity to investigate and punish Beijing for what U.S. officials believe was an effort to downplay the virus publicly while China secured resources to combat it internally.
The Daines ad campaign is standard fare for Trump-allied Republicans these days. But unlike many of his Senate colleagues, Daines is criticizing China after years of feting high-ranking officials in its government, most recently as a senator whom the country’s top diplomat in the U.S. praised as a steadfast ally. Years earlier, Daines worked in China for a Fortune 100 company that worked closely with local Communist Party officials to market and distribute its products.
Meanwhile, Gov. Steve Bullock (D. MT) continue to lead Daines in the polls and U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D. MT) is helping Bullock’s campaign get ready to win. Received this e-mail today from Tester in support of Bullock’s campaign:
We’ve got Republicans running scared.
A brand new poll released this morning shows Democrat Steve Bullock surging SEVEN POINTS into the lead against the Republican incumbent in Montana’s Senate race.
I know Steve has what it takes to win and put Democrats on the path to taking back the majority. It’s clear folks everywhere are fed up with Mitch McConnell’s failed Senate and are ready to fight for a government that works for all of us.
But we can’t rest easy. This race is going to be a close one and Steve’s team is expecting McConnell’s shady donor network to flood the airwaves with millions of dollars in attack ads any moment now.
I couldn’t have won my race here in 2018 without folks like you. Now, I’m asking for your support once again to help Steve Bullock win this incredibly competitive election and give Montana TWO Democratic Senators.
Steve is ahead in the polls and with your help, we can build a movement powerful enough to win it all.