GOP Senate Candidate Questions McConnell’s Ties To ‘Wealthy Chinaperson’

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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West Virginia GOP Senate candidate Don Blankenship responded to attack ads funded by a PAC associated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) by taking a swing at McConnell.

“I have an issue when the father-in-law is a wealthy Chinaperson,” Blankenship told The New York Times.

The ad accused Blankenship, a former coal magnate, of poisoning local water sources with his mining operations. It also attacked his criminal record — he was convicted of conspiracy to violate mine safety standards after an explosion at one of his mines resulted in the death of 29 miners.

Blankenship responded to the ad by immediately going on the offensive, attacking McConnell by suggesting that he couldn’t be impartial on foreign policy, particularly with regard to China, because of his own business ties and his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is Chinese.

Blankenship, whose primary residence is in Las Vegas, is the only member of either party in the West Virginia senate race who has refused to disclose his financial documents. He explained that the penalty for refusing was small, saying, “I don’t personally think anybody should have to disclose private information.”