Trump urges West Virginia voters to reject convicted coal baron

Marsha Scott
May 8, 2018

On Monday morning, President Donald Trump took sides in the West Virginia Senate Republican primary. National Republicans have compared the race to last year's Alabama Senate contest where Republican Roy Moore unexpectedly won the primary but then lost to Democrat Doug Jones in the general. In a Tweet Monday morning, Trump attempted to appeal to the sensibilities of West Virginia Republicans, who voted Trump into office in 2016 by almost 42 points.

Trump felt otherwise when he said in a tweet that Blankenship would lose the general election to Manchin.

The former coal baron recently served a one-year prison sentence on a conviction for conspiring to violate mine safety laws, following the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion in 2010 that killed 29 people.

"I am the only candidate that has beaten Joe Manchin, and I have done it twice. We need to win in November", the younger Trump tweeted.

"Neither of my opponents can beat Joe Manchin without my support, but I will beat Joe Manchin even without the support of the establishment", Blankenship said. He added that the "institution would be misinforming him because they usually do not desire me to function as from the U.S. Senate and market the President's schedule. That's the most important question that we're going to have to resolve", Morrisey said when asked about U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

"Todd Rokita puts on a MAGA hat, he runs around the state, but on the tough votes...he's against President Trump", GOP Rep. Luke Messer said of his Republican House colleague Rokita in a debate last month. Luther Strange - but when it became clear that Moore could well win despite the large number of women who came forward to say he had sought relationships with them when they were under age, Trump went all in for Moore.

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Just a day before West Virginia's primary election, President Donald Trump has weighed in on the GOP Primary.

Mr McConnell's wife, US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, was born in Taiwan and is of Chinese descent. "While doing so, Mitch has gotten rich", Blankenship continued. Jeff Flake, a frequent Trump critic and someone mentioned as a possible 3rd party candidate for president in 2020, hit Trump for that mentality in a tweet Monday.

The ad also drew criticism for the use of the term "China family", to describe McConnell's in-laws.

"The problem isn't that Don Blankenship can't win a general election in West Virginia, it's that he shouldn't win a general election in West Virginia".

Meanwhile, Morrissey has attacked Blankenship, accusing him of not filing a personal financial disclosure form, according to The Hill.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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