Blankenship bid divides West Virginia, as GOP primary rivals praise Trump intervention

Senator Elizabeth Warren questions Alex Azar during a Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on his nomination to be Health and Human Services secretary on Capitol Hill in Washington U.S

"In the history of West Virginia, no one has been more supportive of the Republican Party and conservative causes than I have been", Blankenship said in the statement.

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

Trump also asked West Virginia voters to "Remember Alabama" - a reference to Republican Roy Moore, who lost a Senate race to Democrat Doug Jones after allegations surfaced of Moore's sexual advances toward teenagers. He's referring to when Republican Judge Roy Moore won the Alabama Senate primary past year only to eventually lose the seat to Democrat Doug Jones. "Problem is, Don Blankenship, now running for Senate, can't win the General Election in your State ..."

Blankenship later responded to Trump's tweet, saying: "No one, and I mean no one, will tell us how to vote".

"My situation in West Virginia is Trumpier than Trump", Blankenship said on "Talkline". He served a year in prison after 29 miners died in the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine disaster.

"I am the only candidate that has beaten Joe Manchin, and I have done it twice".

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".


"The establishment is misinforming him because they do not want me to be in the U.S. Senate and promote the President's agenda", he continued.

Blankenship has taken aim at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with racially charged accusations of corruption.

The key component of the Trumps - Donald and Don - is that Blankenship can't win in November and, therefore, shouldn't be supported by Republican primary voters.

Trump's run was also defined by a host of conspiracy theories, from raising false questions about Ted Cruz's father being tied to President John F. Kennedy's death to repeatedly questioning President Barack Obama's birth certificate to besmirching Muslims by suggesting they were cheering in New Jersey on September 11. "The establishment needs to stand down in this race, and I will beat Manchin in the fall".

In an interview with Roll Call last week, Blankenship said his campaign ad was not racist because in the ad "there's no mention of a race". It's the number one issue", said Leah Askarinam, a reporter, and analyst at Inside Elections, a nonpartisan outlet that analyzes House, Senate, gubernatorial and presidential campaigns, "These candidates have spent the last several months tying themselves as closely as possible to the president.

West Virginia was considered a Democratic stronghold during the 20th century.

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