08 May, 2018
As if to prove the point, last week, Blankenship released an ad accusing Mitch McConnell of being a "swamp captain" whose "China family"-alluding to McConnell's wife, who was born in Taiwan-"has given him tens of millions of dollars".
President Trump has directly weighed into the West Virginia GOP Senate primary, tweeting against Republican Don Blakenship, whom many believe will be a bad choice to unseat the beatable sitting Democrat, Joe Manchin.
"Don Blankenship, now running for Senate, can't win the General Election in your State".
The President adds his voice to the national Republicans who are anxious that Blankenship's upstart campaign could upend plans to run either Republican Rep. Evan Jenkins or Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who are seen as more electable, against vulnerable Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in the general election this fall. Nonetheless, Blankenship has surged ahead in the polls ahead of Tuesday's primary.
Indiana, North Carolina and OH also are holding primaries on Tuesday.
Trump cited Alabama Republican Roy Moore, who lost a special Senate election after allegations of past sexual misconduct.
"I'm honored that President Trump encouraged voters to cast their vote for me to Make America Great Again", he said in a statement.
"Well, it surprised me", Blankenship told Fox News about the President's tweet.
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Blankenship campaign spokesman Greg Thomas said the candidate is "in the process" of filing the paperwork and has sent notification it would be late. "The establishment is misinforming him because they do not want me to be in the U.S. Senate and promote the President's agenda".
Democratic PACs have poured in millions, too, for negative ads against Blankenship's opponents - a move which some Republican operatives say have helped boost support for the former coal baron in the state.
Blankenship rejects the comparisons to Moore, which were amplified when the president urged voters Monday to "Remember Alabama".
After trailing far behind Jenkins and Morrisey in polls, "he's back in the race and I wouldn't be surprised if he won".
When Moore defeated odd in the primary, Trump quickly backed Moore and essentially disavowed his support of unusual, deleting his tweets about the latter. "All the ingredients are there for Blankenship to win-anti-Washington/anti-McConnell rhetoric and a lot of money while the other guys attack each other", the strategist said. "As some have said, I am Trumpier than Trump". And, he has also made clear that he doesn't accept the idea of the president as a moral leader, someone who does the right thing rather than the political thing.
Meanwhile, Jenkins said he was "honored" by Trump's tacit endorsement.
Trump's tweet on Blankenship starkly reveals both of those character traits.