Trump Warns West Virginians Against Voting For GOP Senate Frontrunner: 'Remember Alabama'

Saul Bowman
May 8, 2018

A defiant Don Blankenship fired back Monday after President Donald Trump urged West Virginia voters to support two of the convicted ex-coal executive's opponents in the Republican U.S. Senate primary. "Tomorrow, West Virginia will send the swamp a message - no one, I mean no one, will tell us how to vote".

Blankenship dismissed Trump's concerns, telling reporters that the president was too "busy" to know how "flawed" Morrisey and Jenkins are.

Blankenship's campaign argued that failing to disclose his finances was a non-issue. But if the former coal baron somehow wins, it will show just how far off the deep end much of the GOP rank and file has gone in an era when the normal metrics of good and bad seem to have been reversed.

The president's tweet did not mention that he originally endorsed Mr Moore.

A big reason Blankenship is around at all is that he's been able to contrast the bickering between the other two politicians with his political novelty, which is helpful, given that outsiders are very on-trend in politics.

Blankenship, meanwhile, is doubling down on his attacks against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and continues to defend his use of the term "China people".

The president's son Donald Jr. has been more vocal in warning voters against Blankenship's baggage.

Republican operatives are reportedly anxious that Blankenship could win Tuesday's primary in West Virginia.

The Tweeter-in-Chief informed the West Virginia populace Monday morning that they should not vote Don Blankenship for Senate.

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

Claiming that Blankenship "can't win the General Election", Trump on Monday alluded to the U.S. Senate special election in Alabama a year ago, where he made a similar endorsement.

U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey are Blankenship's rivals in the West Virginia race, one of several primary contests where Republicans are wrestling over their allegiance to Trump.

But on the stump on Monday, Blankenship reportedly said the deadly explosion was caused by the United States government. Trump said in a tweet comparing Blankenship to Roy Moore's failed Senate bid in Alabama.

Democrats, meanwhile, are borrowing from Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill's playbook and pushing for a Blankenship nomination. "Does Blankenship winning all of a sudden put this off the table for the Republicans?"

Ahead of Tuesday's primary, a national Republican operative tells ABC News that candidates are starting to pull out all the stops now that it's "down to the wire".

These primary splits are pushing both parties to extremes and are ultimately responsible for the wave of Trumpism the American political system is seeing, said Trippi.

Trump then turned around and said he had known Moore would lose.

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