Don Blankenship comes out with new racist attack on Mitch McConnell’s family

"His China family has given him tens of millions of dollars.”

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Don Blankenship. CREDIT: Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Don Blankenship. CREDIT: Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Don Blankenship, Republican candidate for Senate in West Virginia, is doubling down on his racist attack on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his family in a new ad that is expected to start airing Friday.

“Swamp captain Mitch McConnell has created millions of jobs for Chinapeople,” Blankenship says in the ad. “While doing so, Mitch has gotten rich. In fact, his China family has given him tens of millions of dollars.”

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The ad ends with Blankenship holding two young girls and saying, “I will beat Joe Manchin and ditch ‘Cocaine Mitch’ for the sake of the kids.”

Blankenship coined the “Cocaine Mitch” nickname earlier this week, saying it was because of a 2014 article in The Nation reporting cocaine was found on a ship belonging to McConnell’s father-in-law’s company.

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McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, is Chinese American and currently serves as secretary of transportation. Last month, Blankenship attacked Chao’s father in a radio interview, saying, “I have an issue when the father-in-law is a wealthy Chinaperson and there’s a lot of connections to some of the brass, if you will, in China.”

In a Republican primary debate Wednesday night, Blankenship defended the comments, saying, “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 is something racist about saying a ‘Chinaperson.’ Some people are Korean-persons, some people are African-persons. It’s not any slander there.”

In 2016, Blankenship was sentenced to prison for conspiring to violate federal safety and health laws at Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine, where 29 workers died in an explosion in April 2010.

On Thursday afternoon, Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, came out against Blankenship, calling on West Virginians to vote against him.

“I’m gonna go out on a limb here and ask the people of West Virginia to make a wise decision and reject Blankenship,” he tweeted. “No more fumbles like Alabama.”

He added later, “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.”

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Recent polling has Blankenship with only 12 percent support in the three-way race, though 39 percent of voters said they were undecided.