Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Thomas Kim

Reader 2

Sumita Pahwa

Rights Information

2022 Angelica Navarro


Foreign policy rhetoric as a campaign strategy is limited in the current literature. The U.S.’ polarized political climate has divided voters along domestic issues. Therefore, foreign policy may be one of the few remaining “common ground” issues upon which U.S. presidential candidates can secure a broad, national coalition across the political spectrum. Pulling from Joe Biden’s speeches during his 2020 presidential campaign from C-SPAN’s coverage, I analyze his rhetoric in relation to China in a possible attempt to appeal to 2016 blue-collar Trump supporters. My results reflect Biden’s use of four major frames in his China foreign policy rhetoric relating to economic competition, Donald Trump’s “secret” bank account in China, COVID-19, and the perceived loss of American prestige on the international stage. By studying President Joe Biden’s 2020 appeal to Trump supporters via a rhetorical framing of China, this thesis explores a new potential theoretical breakthrough, ripe for scholarly investigation: presidential candidates may be turning to foreign policy to gain voters from their opponent’s base, thus securing a bipartisan coalition.