Blankenship: I’m Trumpier than Trump
Don Blankenship said on Monday that he is “Trumpier than Trump” in response to a tweet from the president urging West Virginians to support the GOP Senate candidate’s primary opponents.
“As some have said I am Trumpier than Trump, and this morning proves it,” Blankenship, a former mining CEO, said in a statement responding to a tweet from Trump.
“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,” Blankenship said. “The establishment is misinforming him because they do not want me to be in the U.S. Senate and promote the President’s agenda.”
Blankenship also said he had resurrected the GOP in West Virginia.
“West Virginia voters should remember that my enemies are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and my opponents would not even be running as Republicans had I not resurrected the Republican Party in West Virginia,” he said.
Trump tweeted on Monday that West Virginians should support either West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey or Rep. Evan Jenkins in the GOP primary over Blankenship, a former coal executive who was convicted of violating mine safety and health standards.
Republicans fear that if Blankenship won the primary, he would almost certainly lose to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in November. They also think he could cause collateral damage on other GOP candidates.
To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
Blankenship, who was in prison for a year after his conviction, has been surging in recent polling.
The Republican establishment has responded by fiercely pushing against his nomination.
Republicans fear that Blankenship’s nomination could be a repeat of last year’s Alabama special election where Roy Moore beat the more moderate Luther Strange for the Republican nomination only to be beaten by the Democratic candidate Doug Jones after allegations broke that Moore had engaged in sexual encounters with underage women.
The West Virginia primary will take place on Tuesday.
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