Happy Wednesday! Pour one out for Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who—fresh off the high of his GOP presidential launch last week—walked unprepared into the buzzsaw of a Hugh Hewitt interview Tuesday. “Will you be talking about the Uyghurs during your campaign?” Hewitt asked. “What’s a Uyghur?” Suarez replied. The candidate later claimed he is familiar with the ethnic group facing oppression and genocide in China, but had been thrown by Hewitt’s pronunciation of the word.
Up to Speed
- President Joe Biden will travel to Chicago today for a speech focused on his economic agenda, which his campaign has begun talking up as “Bidenomics.” The president plans to highlight recent favorable economic numbers and spotlight his best economic top lines, like the fact that the U.S. economy has added 13 million jobs under his tenure. Voters’ economic outlook has soured during Biden’s term, with voter approval of his handling of the economy sinking from 60 percent in March 2021 to 33 percent last month, according to AP polling.
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis laid out his border agenda Monday during a campaign visit to the border city of Eagle Pass, Texas, promising to finish building the border wall, end birthright citizenship, and use the military to break up Mexican drug cartels. He also suggested deadly force would be appropriate against some illegal immigrants: “Once you cut through the wall, you have hostile intent because you’re obviously running drugs,” he told NBC News. “You absolutely can use deadly force.”
- On Tuesday, DeSantis headed for New Hampshire for his first voter town hall, where he distanced himself from Donald Trump’s 2020 stolen election claims, saying that if the 2024 election is “about litigating things that happened two, three years ago, we’re going to lose.” Also on Tuesday, Trump headlined a luncheon with the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women.
- Tim Sheehy, an accomplished businessman and military veteran, announced Tuesday that he will run to unseat Montana Senator Jon Tester. Sheehy was heavily recruited by Republican leadership and received a major endorsement from Steve Daines, Montana’s other senator and the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The endorsement undermines a potential bid by Rep. Matt Rosendale, who lost to Tester in 2018. (Rosendale was not pleased with the decision.)
- Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said Tuesday he plans to run for re-election. “There’s too much to do, I just don’t feel like this is the time to quit,” said King, who is 78.
‘He Showed Weakness’: Nikki Haley Kicks Trump on China
Nikki Haley has started kicking sideways.
In a Tuesday speech, the former governor and ambassador and current presidential candidate unveiled details of her China policy—and used the opportunity to denounce Donald Trump’s approach to Beijing as wholly inadequate. It was the sort of criticism Haley once dismissed as “kicking sideways” versus “kicking forward” at President Joe Biden—whose dealings with China she also dissected during a speech and subsequent Q&A at the headquarters of the conservative American Enterprise Institute here in Washington.
“President Trump was almost singularly focused on our trade relationship with China,” Haley argued. “But Trump did too little about the rest of the Chinese threat. … He did not put us on a stronger military foothold in Asia. He did not stop the flow of American technology and investment into the Chinese military. He did not effectively rally our allies against the Chinese threat.”