Blankenship targets McConnell’s ‘China family’ in ad
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Ex-coal CEO Don Blankenship is upping his rhetorical war with Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report Republican strategist: Trump is 'driven by ego' Senate GOP campaign arm asking Trump to endorse McSally in Arizona: report MORE (R-Ky.), saying the "swamp captain" has received money from his "China family." 
 
"Swamp captain Mitch McConnell has created millions of jobs for China people. While doing so Mitch has gotten rich. In fact his China family has given him tens of millions of dollars," Blankenship says in a new ad released Thursday. 
 
 
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The new ad comes as Blankenship and national groups with ties to McConnell are trading heavy fire days before the state's May 8 GOP primary. 
 
Blankenship adds in the new TV spot that McConnell's "swamp people" are running "false, negative ads" against him. 
 
"They are also childishly calling me despicable and mentally ill. The war to drain the swamp and create jobs for West Virginia people has begun," he says. 
 
A GOP super PAC, with ties to McConnell and the national party, has spent roughly $1.3 million against Blankenship, who has fallen into third place in recent polling.
 
Josh Holmes, a longtime political adviser and former staffer to McConnell, previously referred to Blankenship as "mentally ill" and said he is "as contemptible a human being as you will find." 
 
Blankenship raised eyebrows, and sparked backlash from McConnell allies, when he told a local radio station that the Senate GOP leader faces conflicts of interest because the father of McConnell's wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoMcConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters Protesters confront McConnell leaving Kentucky restaurant The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Wild night of primaries reshapes 2018 midterms MORE, is a "wealthy Chinaperson."
 
He doubled down on his rhetoric during a nationally televised debate this week hosted by Fox News. 

"This idea that calling someone a 'Chinaperson,' I mean, I'm an American-person, I don't see this insinuation by the press that there are something racist about saying a 'Chinaperson,' " he said.

Chao's family immigrated from China and owns an international shipping company. McConnell dismissed Blankenship's initial comment as "ridiculous" and told Fox News he hopes West Virginia GOP voters will pick "somebody who can actually win the general election."
 
Blankenship didn't address his ad referring to McConnell as "Cocaine Mitch" during the debate. The nickname is apparently a reference to a report in The Nation, a liberal magazine, that linked a drug bust on a ship to a company owned by Chao's family.