The best that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) could do after Biden met with President Xi of China was complain about President Biden’s tone and mood music.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) criticizes Biden's 'demeanor and attitude' while meeting with Xi, "I worry very much about the mood music that Joe Biden was trying to set at this summit." pic.twitter.com/l9RrM6gOLt
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) November 19, 2023
Cotton said on Fox News’s Sunday Morning Futures:
I’m also worried about just the overall demeanor and attitude that Joe Biden had at that summit. It’s one thing to meet with our Communist adversaries. That’s what we expect our leaders to do. I do that on occasion on trips around the world. It’s another thing for Joe Biden to say that it was an honor and a pleasure to welcome a communist dictator like Xi Jinping to America. That’s not the kind of thing Ronald Reagan would have said when he brought Mikhail Gorbachev off to the White House.
I also noted that you had John Kerry there whose monomaniacal obsession is some fleeting climate change, deal with China. But you didn’t have representatives of the Department of Defense or our intelligence agencies at a high level. So I worry very much about the mood music that Joe Biden was trying to set at this summit and the signals that it will send the Xi Jinping as he takes the measure of a man, he may have to face off against.
When the only thing that Republicans can think of to complain about is Biden’s demeanor, things must have gone pretty well. Cotton had to find something wrong with Biden’s meeting with Xi, so he threw it back to the myth of Ronald Reagan.
Let’s take a look at what Ronald Reagan said after he visited China in 1984:
I told the Chinese leaders, as I told the students at Shanghai University yesterday, that we must continue to acknowledge our differences, for a friendship based on fiction will not long withstand the rigors of the world. But we agreed that there is much to be gained from mutual respect. And there’s much to be gained on both sides from expanded opportunities in trade and commerce and cultural relations.
I was heartened by some of the things that we saw. The Chinese have begun opening up their economy, allowing more farmers and workers to keep and sell on their own some of the fruits of their labor. The first injection of free market spirit has already enlivened the Chinese economy. I believe it has also made a contribution to human happiness in China and opened the way to a more just society.
By Tom Cotton’s definition, Ronald Reagan had a demeanor problem on China.
Reagan never called the Chinese Communist regime a dictatorship, but Biden.
President Biden was tougher on China than Reagan, and Republicans are struggling to find a criticism.
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Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
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