One might even say that it is ballooning! Ever since the Chinese weather/spy balloon was sighted over the US and getting media attention, Republicans have been attacking Biden for how he handled it.
- Marco Rubio said on CNN: “It’s not just the balloon. It’s the message they are trying to send the world: ‘we can do whatever we want and America can’t stop us.'”
- Ted Cruz chimed in with: “I think this entire episode telegraphed weakness to Xi and the Chinese government.”
- Republican congressman Michael Turner (R-OH) said waiting to shoot down the balloon until it would not hurt anyone on the ground “sort of like tackling the quarterback after the game is over.” He also called China’s decision to fly a balloon over the country “a crisis”.
- And Donald Trump of course, weighed in, saying that he “would have shot it down before it entered the U.S.”
There’s just one problem. This is not the first time that Chinese balloons have drifted through US airspace. In fact, there were three known Chinese balloons that did just that during the Trump administration. Of course, Trump could use the excuse that since he never read anything, he didn’t know anything about the balloons.
There was also a previous balloon during the Biden administration. But it never came up in national media, so the Republicans ignored it.
I think it is safe to assume that the GOP’s plan is going to be to say anything that could possibly make Biden look bad. Even if it is something they themselves are guilty of. They have no interest in governing, or doing the right thing. It is all about power, and attacking their “enemy”, the Democrats.
UPDATE: Members of the Trump administration are claiming that there were no balloon incursions during Trump’s presidency. In response, the Biden administration is offering to brief them on past Chinese spy balloon incursions.