Blankenship blames 'the establishment' after Trump Jr. criticism

Blankenship blames 'the establishment' after Trump Jr. criticism
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Don Blankenship, the controversial Republican candidate for Senate in West Virginia, responded on Thursday to sharp criticism from Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpDonald Trump Jr. joins Cameo Book claims Trump family members were 'inappropriately' close with Secret Service agents Trump Jr. shares edited video showing father knocking Biden down with golf ball MORE, by blaming "the establishment" for mounting attacks against his campaign. 
 
"The establishment is doing everything they can to keep Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDemocrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Top Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure An August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done MORE in office," Blankenship said in a statement to CNN, referring to the state's vulnerable Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. 
 
Blankenship, who trails significantly behind his primary opponents, West Virginia Republican Rep. Evan JenkinsEvan Hollin JenkinsWest Virginia New Members 2019 Republican Carol Miller holds off Democrat in West Virginia House race Trump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report MORE and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, is facing increasing pressure from Washington Republicans who fear that his run could hurt their plans to oust Manchin in November.
 
The GOP primary is Tuesday.
 
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"No other Republican can beat Manchin without my full support, and neither Morrisey nor Jenkins is deserving of my support," Blankenship said in the statement. "West Virginians should be able to decide for themselves who we send to the U.S. Senate."
 
 
"I hate to lose. So I'm gonna go out on a limb here and ask the people of West Virginia to make a wise decision and reject Blankenship! No more fumbles like Alabama," Donald Jr. posted on Twitter on Thursday. "We need to win in November."
 
Blankenship, a former executive at coal company Massey Energy who spent a year in prison, is running as an outsider and says he is the only candidate in the race able to help the president "drain the swamp." He has also feuded with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sets new vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Trump takes two punches from GOP MORE (R-Ky.).
 
Trump Jr. responded to Blankenship by saying, "ha!"
 
"Now I’m establishment?" he tweeted. "No, I’m realistic & I know the first thing Manchin will do is run ads featuring the families of those 29 miners killed due to actions that sent you to prison. Can’t win the general... you should know that & if others in the GOP won’t say it, I will."
Blankenship is also under fire from a conservative group tied to Washington Republicans that has spent hundreds of thousands on attack ads against him. 
 
Democrats have funneled money into a series of ads in West Virginia against Jenkins and Morissey, in a strategy Trump Jr. and others see as as benefiting Blankenship in order to set up Republicans for failure in the general election.