This week all three contenders at the West Virginia GOP primary debate refused to show their support for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. One candidate, former coal executive Don Blankenship, even ducked behind his podium. It was funny and the audience got a kick out of it. But, things took a nasty turn Thursday after Blankenship's new ad leaked. It includes racial attacks against McConnell and his family.
McConnell, for context's sake, is married Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, a Chinese American. Her father is chairman of a shipping company.
“Swamp captain Mitch McConnell has created millions of jobs for China people,” Blankenship's new ad "Ditch Mitch" claims.
What in the world did I just watch pic.twitter.com/4eudpGAxp0— Liam Donovan (@LPDonovan) May 3, 2018
"While doing so, Mitch has gotten rich,” he adds. “In fact, his China family has given him tens of millions of dollars.”
McConnell's former chief of staff and campaign manager Josh Holmes quickly responded to Blankenship's shocking charges.
Donald Trump Jr. added his voice to the race today, urging West Virginians to vote wisely "reject Blankenship."
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!— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 3, 2018
No more fumbles like Alabama. We need to win in November. #wv #wvpol
Still, Blankenship is forging ahead. He will beat Democrat incumbent Joe Manchin and "Cocaine Mitch" for the sake of the kids, the candidate promises in the campaign spot, expected to start airing Friday. The "cocaine" nickname is reportedly in reference to a 2014 report that drugs were found aboard a shipping vessel owned by Chao’s family. In a recent interview with Politico, Blankenship again targeted McConnell's wife. Chao, he said, is “from China, so we have to be really concerned that we are in truth” putting America’s interests first.
The West Virginia primary is May 8.