"I think it could be misunderstood - people love Trump's policies and his commitment to West Virginia, they don't necessarily love individuals". On a West Virginia radio show, he suggested that McConnell faces a conflict of interest because he's married to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who was born in Taiwan to Chinese parents.
"I hope West Virginia voters will listen to President Trump when they go to the polls tomorrow", Mr. Morrisey said.
He has also made weird attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a major part of his campaign platform, standing by his use of the racial slur "Chinaperson" to describe McConnell's father-in-law, and arguing in a campaign ad that McConnell "has created millions of jobs for China people".More news: United States warns Beijing for militarising South China Sea
Greg Thomas, a Blankenship spokesman, said, "Mr. Morrisey is just having a tantrum". Evan JenkinsEvan Hollin JenkinsGOP takes gloves off against Blankenship in West Virginia Morrisey: Blankenship "would get crushed" in November Mueller emerges as villain in Republican campaigns MORE came in second, with 28 percent, and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in third, with 27 percent.
He also referenced the failed U.S. Senate bid of Roy Moore in a December Alabama special election.
"We have a three-alarm fire in West Virginia", Republican strategist Ford O'Connell told Newsweek. Once considered a long shot, Mr. Blankenship now may actually be the favorite heading into Tuesday's election, perhaps the most closely watched primary in the nation and one that Republicans see as pivotal to their chances of retaining control of the Senate. Problem is, Don Blankenship, now running for Senate, can't win the General Election in your State...
This article has been updated to include statements from Don Blankenship and Rep. Evan Jenkins.More news: 'Avengers: Infinity War' now fastest film to earn $1 bn worldwide
Blankenship fired back in a statement to NBC's Ali Vitali. He won the state in the 2016 election by 42 percentage points. And the coal baron's flagrant xenophobia - and habit of decrying Mitch McConnell as a cocaine dealer - means that the national Republican Party would likely do relatively little to boost Blankenship's candidacy.
Blankenship served one year in prison for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards, a misdemeanor.
In a television ad, Blankenship also stepped up his attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accusing him of creating "millions of jobs for China people".
Blankenship predicts he cannot only win the primary but also defeat incumbent Democratic U.S. Joe Manchin in November "without the support of the establishment".More news: Meghan Markle's half-brother says it's not 'too late' to call off wedding
"We're excited that President Trump gave us a shout out this morning", Jenkins told FOX. No more fumbles like Alabama. "We need to win in November". Each claimed to have the support of the president, even though Mr. Trump made it explicit that he has no preference between the two.
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