Former coal tycoon Don Blankenship believes President Donald Trump is not supporting his campaign for Senate because the president is too busy to notice that he is more Trump than Trump.
Blankenship’s push for one of West Virginia’s Senate seats has hit a number of hurdles, with the most recent being Trump’s move to dissociate from the ex-con. The establishment is misinforming Trump, Blankenship told NBC Monday.
“The President is a very busy man and he doesn’t know me and he doesn’t know how flawed my two main opponents are in this primary … As some have said, I am Trumpier than Trump and this morning proves it,” Blankenship said of his race against Republican opponents Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and West Virginia Rep. Evan Jenkins.
Blankenship was responding to a Trump tweet Monday imploring West Virginians not to vote for the former Massey Energy CEO.
“Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State…No way! Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!” Trump said in a tweet comparing Blankenship to Roy Moore’s failed Senate bid in Alabama.
Jenkins, one of the Republicans taking on Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in November, commissioned a poll in March showing Blankenship with 27 percent of the vote, just behind the incumbent congressman at 29 percent. Morrisey was in third place with only 19 percent.
Blankenship is among the top Republican contenders, according to a GOP-based poll conducted at the end of March. His rise in the Republican field comes shortly after he was convicted in 2015 of skirting safety regulations that led to the Upper Branch mine disaster in 2010, which killed 29 miners and injured several others.
The polls were conducted before Blankenship took on GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky in a series of political ads, one of which trashed the Senate majority leader for creating jobs for his “China people.”
“Swamp captain Mitch McConnell has created millions of jobs for China people,” Blankenship said in the ad Politico first reported. “While doing so, Mitch has gotten rich,” Blankenship continued. “In fact, his China family has given him tens of millions of dollars.”
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