Campaign

RNC to shadow Biden as he promotes COVID-19 relief bill

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is planning an aggressive counterprogramming campaign as President Biden sets out to promote the popular COVID-19 relief package he signed into law last week.

Biden this week will embark on a “Help is Here” tour to celebrate what could be his signature legislative achievement, which includes stimulus checks for more than 100 million Americans.

While Biden is on the road, the RNC is planning to saturate the airwaves with local surrogates on radio and television casting the relief bill as a $1.9 trillion “boondoggle” full of blue-state bailouts and pet projects for progressives.

The RNC’s rapid response team will be reacting in real time to Biden and Vice President Harris’s public appearances. The communications team will be doing multilingual outreach to Black, Hispanic and Asian communities, as well as press calls with in-state surrogates in key battlegrounds.

“Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress have let down hardworking Americans by passing their $1.9 trillion boondoggle of a spending bill, with only nine percent of the money targeted to fighting the pandemic,” said RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. 

“As Biden takes his victory lap to the states, we will actively be holding him and his Democrat counterparts accountable for misleading the American people and ensuring that voters know the real cost and waste of this package,” she added.

Biden on Monday set a goal of sending out 100 million relief checks to qualified Americans over the next 10 days as he rushes to implement and take credit for the COVID-19 relief bill. He also tapped Gene Sperling, an experienced economic adviser, to oversee the implementation of the massive spending package, which also includes funds for local governments, businesses and schools.

The president will travel to Delaware County, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday as part of his victory lap. Harris visited a vaccination site in Las Vegas on Monday, while first lady Jill Biden traveled to an elementary school in New Jersey to promote the administration’s efforts.

Administration officials are expected to make stops in Georgia, Colorado and New Mexico in the coming days.

Polls show the relief package is widely popular, with a recent CBS-YouGov survey finding that 75 percent of Americans approve of the bill, including 94 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of independents and 46 percent of Republicans.

The RNC’s efforts to knock the shine off the bill are notable because GOP leaders in Congress appear to have already moved on. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was in El Paso on Monday attacking the Biden administration for the growing crisis at the southern border, where thousands of unaccompanied minors have been detained by Customs and Border Protection.

The RNC will make the case that the relief bill will add trillions in new debt, while directing billions of dollars to unrelated initiatives, including $600 million to erase the city of San Francisco’s budget deficit and $86 billion going toward state pension funds that were on the rocks before the pandemic struck.

Republicans will argue that the bill did not tie school reopenings to the money they are receiving to safeguard against the virus, and that provisions were not put in place to keep local governments from spending the funds on unrelated projects.

Tags Jill Biden Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Ronna McDaniel

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