Friday, 22 June, 2018

On Twitter, Trump Urges West Virginians to Vote Against Blankenship

Kucinich and Cordray are top candidates in the Ohio Democratic primary for governor Kucinich and Cordray are top candidates in the Ohio Democratic primary for governor
Andrew Cummings | 08 May, 2018, 01:30

Blankenship has repeatedly stated on the campaign trail that Morrisey is at fault for the opioid epidemic in West Virginia, and vows he will not support the attorney general if chosen as the Republican nominee. "Neither of my opponents can beat Joe Manchin without my support, but I will beat Joe Manchin even without the support of the establishment". His rise in the Republican field comes shortly after he was convicted in 2015 of skirting safety regulations that led to the Upper Branch mine disaster in 2010, which killed 29 miners and injured several others.

Blankenship was criticized after he released an ad calling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "Cocaine Mitch" and McConnell's in-laws his "China family".

"To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference", Trump wrote on Twitter.

White House aides and Republicans in the Senate had been discussing whether Trump should comment on Blankenship and decided he should if it looked like Blankenship could win, three officials said, The Times reported.

President Trump has directly weighed into the West Virginia GOP Senate primary, tweeting against Republican Don Blakenship, whom many believe will be a bad choice to unseat the beatable sitting Democrat, Joe Manchin. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey plans to call Blankenship's probation officer to confront him about the candidate's refusal to comply with federal law by not filing a personal financial disclosure.

"He (Trump) doesn't know how flawed my two main opponents are in this primary", Blankenship said.

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Morrisey, one of the two beneficiaries of Trump's tweet, said he hasn't spoken to the president in the past few days, but nominating a Republican who can defeat Manchin is key. Democrats have their own intraparty drama that could portend what happens in November, which we'll get to. The primary is Tuesday.

Party strategists tell ABC News that, though no public polling has been done in the past week, the West Virginia contest remains a tight three-way race.

Blankenship has a series of issues that make Republicans nervous about his chances of winning in a general election.

Trump cited Alabama Republican Roy Moore, who lost a special Senate election after allegations of past sexual misconduct. "As some have said, I am Trumpier than Trump and this morning proves it". After the election result, Trump tried to distance himself from Moore by reverting back to his previous argument that odd would have won the general election. "I'm the only candidate in this race who has backed Donald Trump since day one, and I'm working side-by-side with him to America, and West Virginia, Great Again". And any means to win justifies the end - as long as the end is a victory.

Trump's tweet on Blankenship starkly reveals both of those character traits.

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