Blankenship on 'Cocaine Mitch' Backlash: 'Joe Manchin Has So Much More Baggage'

WV GOP Candidate Brings 'Ditch Mitch' Hats to Fox News Debate

Senator Mitch McConnell's campaign tweeted a picture of the Kentucky Republican smiling next to a caption that read, "Thanks for playing, Don" after West Virginia GOP primary hopeful Don Blankenship was declared one of the runners-up.

Late Tuesday, Fox News projected that West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) would win the three-way contest between himself, Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-Huntington) and Blankenship, a former coal baron.

During his campaign, Blankenship launched a series of attacks on McConnell, the Senate majority leader, calling him "Cocaine Mitch" and referring to his in-laws as "his China family."

Blankenship claimed McConnell's father-in-law, shipping magnate James Si-Cheng Chao, is a "wealthy China person" and claimed McConnell had conflicts of interests on trade policies thanks to his relationship with Chao and the senator's wife, Elaine.

"My father-in-law is an American," McConnell told Martha MacCallum in late April, after Blankenship ripped his neighboring state's senator and family.

Blankenship also brought "Ditch Mitch" hats to the Fox News West Virginia Primary Debate.

The coal baron previously spent a year in prison following an explosion at his former company's Upper Big Branch mine, which killed 29 people.

Morrisey will face Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) in November.

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