Former Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon, who unsuccessfully ran against York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the 2018 midterm elections, recently took to Twitter to attack former Vice President Joe Biden for his recent political ad that takes aim at Donald Trump for his approach to China.
“Who had Joe Biden put this hateful xenophobic ad up?” she tweeted.
“Joe needs to focus on getting Democrats and Independents excited, not courting hard-core racists. You won’t get them, Joe, and you’ll make the rest of us sick to our stomachs.”
Nixon’s comment was a response to New York State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou, who was also critical of Biden’s ad, which accused Trump of kowtowing to China.
“This is racist and xenophobic and buys into the disgusting narrative that trump is spinning,” Niou wrote. “A race to be the most racist against Asians is not ok and not what we need right now.”
Donald Trump left our country unprepared and unprotected for the worst public health and economic crisis in our lifetime — and now we're paying the price. pic.twitter.com/aCxcqQqUqw— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 18, 2020
According to Jeet Heer in a piece for The Nation, Biden effectively fell into Trump’s “xenophobic trap” with the new political ad. He noted the Trump campaign’s attack on Biden’s history of friendliness with China, as well as Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh’s claim that Biden’s “softness on China” is one of his vulnerabilities. In response, Biden’s ad accuses Trump of botching his response to the coronavirus before claiming that the president “rolled over for the Chinese” by praising the country’s response to the pandemic.
Heer claims that the use of the phrase “the Chinese” is “troubling” because it does not distinguish between Chinese people and the government of the People’s Republic of China. Such criticism echoes critics of Trump’s use of the phrase “Chinese virus” to refer to the coronavirus.
Although some political pundits believe that Biden’s ad was effective — Joe Scarborough called it “devastating” — Heer nevertheless claims that it contains an undeniable “undercurrent of xenophobia.”
Despite Biden’s alleged friendliness with China, Reuters reported that his tone has shifted amid the pandemic. During a March Democratic presidential debate with former candidate Bernie Sanders, Biden compared China’s leaders to “Jack the Ripper” and called them “flat out dictators.”
As for Trump, his campaign released an ad in response to Biden’s in which he blasted the presumptive Democratic nominee for voicing opposition to Trump’s decision to restrict non-U.S. travelers from entering the United States from China.
As reported by The Hill, a Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll found that Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally. The data comes as Trump’s approval rating is at an all-time high.