McConnell hits back at 'ridiculous' Chinaperson remark

McConnell hits back at 'ridiculous' Chinaperson remark
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Sen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ky.) hit back at ex-coal CEO Don Blankenship on Wednesday, doubling down on his opposition to the GOP Senate candidate's bid to win the primary in West Virginia.

"My father-in-law is an American, who lives in New York. Works in New York. And I don't have any comment about ridiculous observations like that," McConnell told Fox News on Wednesday.

Blankenship told a West Virginia radio station that McConnell 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."

"There’s a lot of connections to some of the brass, if you will, in China. ... I read in books that people think he’s soft on China,” Blankenship said, referring to McConnell.

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Chao's family immigrated from China and founded an international shipping company.

The rhetorical volley is the latest escalation of a growing war between Blankenship, who is running as an anti-establishment Republican, and the GOP establishment.

McConnell subtly hit back at Blankenship on Wednesday, adding that he hopes GOP voters in West Virginia pick "somebody who can actually win the general election."

"I'm not in that race but I hope they nominate somebody who can actually win the general election," he reiterated, asked who he was supporting.

Blankenship, who was released from prison less than a year ago, is battling Rep. Evan JenkinsEvan Hollin JenkinsMore than 50 Dem House challengers outraise GOP incumbents Key Republican says House taking targeted approach to combating opioid epidemic Dem candidate denies W.Va. is racist for rejecting Obama MORE (W.Va.) and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for the GOP nomination on May 8. The winner will face Democratic Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Health Care: Senate takes up massive HHS spending bill next week | Companies see no sign of drugmakers cutting prices, despite Trump claims | Manchin hits opponent on ObamaCare lawsuit Manchin hits opponent on ObamaCare lawsuit with new ad The Hill's Morning Report: Dems have a majority in the Senate (this week) MORE (W.Va.).

But a smattering of recent polling shows Blankenship receding into third place after outside groups with ties to the national party have spent hundreds of thousands running ads against him.

McConnell told The New York Times earlier this year that he didn't want Blankenship to win the primary election.