Sen. Tom Cotton decried “political correctness run amok” and said Democrats are doing nothing to combat the rise of China Thursday morning on “Fox & Friends.”
SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): Yes, Brian, I don’t think it would be any surprise if Beijing wanted Joe Biden to win the elections. Joe Biden has a terrible 30-year record on China, whether it’s voting to give them normal trade relations or admitting them to the WTO, or celebrating their rise, even last year saying they weren’t our competitors. The president recognizes that we have a complicated economic relationship with China. We shouldn’t be in a position where we are today where they have some leverage over Americans, for instance, because they produce so many of our drugs and medical equipment. But in a gradual, step-by-step fashion, we need to begin to change that relationship and turn the tables on China. KILMEADE: Yes. But the question is, the big picture, is now the time for the world economy to see a split between the two biggest economies? COTTON: There’s already a lot of momentum there, Brian, when you look at countries like Japan or Australia, who are beginning to try to bring back more manufacturing or standing up to Chinese disinformation. We ought to support our allies. We ought to do everything we can to limit sole or limited sourcing products inside of China so we never have this kind of position again where China has us over a barrel. And we ought to continue to try to find ways to work with the civilized Democratic world as opposed to Communist China, not just on security and political and diplomatic matters, but economic trade as well. KILMEADE: Senator — Senator, also, I think you know that this — this whole thing started in Wuhan. And you know that many people call this the Wuhan virus or the Chinese virus. Kamala Harris has had enough. She has a resolution that’s going to work its way through the Senate to make — to ban the phrase “Wuhan virus” and she calls it anti-Asian. Your feeling on this? COTTON: Well, I object to that resolution, Brian. First off, Wuhan is just a city. It’s not even a people. I guess she’s going to have to call out Lyme disease for being anti-Connecticut, or maybe Legionnaires disease for being anti-veterans, Zika, since Zika is a force in Africa. But this political correctness run amuck covers a more serious point. The Democrats want to wave their arms and say that this is racist or xenophobic, and that’s because they don’t have an answer for China’s rise and the threat that China poses to us. Joe Biden, as we said, has been weak on China for 30 years. So they want to have politically correct distractions to distract people from his terrible record on China. We can’t let that happen. KILMEADE: So there is something going on in the Senate that has me encouraged. It looks like you have bipartisan support to start taking Chinese companies off our stock market where they’ve made $66 billion since 1997. They don’t provide any audits of their companies. We’re just supposed to take them on their word. And if they don’t, start knocking them off. Bipartisan support. Could this be something we actually implement? COTTON: Yes, absolutely, Brian. It’s crazy that we let Chinese companies go public on our stock exchanges and not live up to our disclosure and our regulatory requirements. We require small companies in Arkansas to face the most burdensome regulations, yet Chinese companies don’t even have to disclose their most basic, financial data. Look just last month, Luckin Coffee disclosed a massive fraud that led to millions of dollars in losses on American investors. We can’t let that stand. I believe this legislation is going to pass. And it’s well-time that it passes, too. KILMEADE: And that’s how you get their attention, hit their pocketbook. Real quick, we have this great ally called Australia and they have the courage to stand up to their neighbor China and demand transparency on this investigation. And China has threatened them. Now they said they’re going to escalate it by stopping iron ore sales and trade to that country. Is it time for America maybe to step in and start protecting those who have the courage to stand up to China? COTTON: Yes, Brian, we need to stand together in the civilized world among democratic peoples against that kind of Chinese aggression. That just goes to show you China’s true colors. You stand up to China, demand an investigation to the origins of this virus, and China cuts off trade with you. Well, guess what, China needs the United States much more than we need them. And when you put together the economies of the United States and Japan and Australia and Europe, China needs all of us much, much more than we need them. KILMEADE: Right. And — and, Senator, I’m all for America first, and I get it, but we have to protect our allies that are doing what we’re asking them to do. And they need to know that we’ll help them with trade. We’ll help them with the military support. We can’t just leave them twisting in the wind because south — China lives to intimidate. Your final thought real quick. COTTON: Yes, that’s absolutely right. Whether it’s Australia and trade terms or Taiwan and continuing to sell them arms, the world needs to know that America will support those countries that join us in standing up to China.