Failed candidate Blankenship attacks McConnell, brings up China again

Failed West Virginia Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship lashed out Wednesday in an usual post-election statement attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican nominee and bringing up China yet again.

The ex-coal baron and ex-con decried a late-night tweet from McConnell's team that spoofed Blankenship's nickname for the Kentucky senator — "Cocaine Mitch" — with a riff on the Netflix show "Narcos."

The statement's post script called the tweet "just more proof that (McConnell) is not an America person." That was a reference to Blankship's widely condemned comment during the campaign that McConnell's wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, is a "China person."

Though Blankenship, who finished a distant third Tuesday night, introduced cocaine into the Senate race — he said his "Cocaine Mitch" claim was based on the fact that a large quantity of the drug had been found on a ship owned by Chao's father, a shipping magnate — his statement now took issue with it being used as a political punchline.

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Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship
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Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship
Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, Republican U.S. Senate candidate from West Virginia, pauses while speaking during a town hall campaign event in Huntington, West Virginia, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. Blankenship has previously declared avid support for pro-coal President Donald Trump and signaled he was aligned with West Virginia's hard-working electorate. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Former Massey Energy Chief Executive Don Blankenship (3rd L) and his attorney Bill Taylor (4th R) are met by media outside the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse in Charleston, West Virginia December 3, 2015. Blankenship was found guilty in federal court on Thursday of conspiring to violate safety standards at the Upper Big Branch mine, the site of a 2010 blast that killed 29 people. REUTERS/Chris Tilley
Former Massey Energy Chief Executive Don Blankenship is talking on his mobile phone as he walks into the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse in Charleston, West Virginia December 3, 2015. Blankenship was found guilty in federal court on Thursday of conspiring to violate safety standards at the Upper Big Branch mine, the site of a 2010 blast that killed 29 people. REUTERS/Chris Tilley
Don Blankenship, CEO of Massie Energy, talks with reporters near the Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, West Virginia, April 6, 2010. Rescue crews moved giant drills to a West Virginia coal mine Tuesday in hopes of boring deep inside to find four miners missing after an explosion that killed at least 25 of their co-workers in the worst U.S. mine disaster in a quarter century. REUTERS/Mike Munden (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENERGY BUSINESS)
MORGANTOWN, WV - MARCH 01: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Don Blankenship speaks at a town hall meeting at West Virginia University on March 1, 2018 in Morgantown, West Virginia. Blankenship is the former chief executive of the Massey Energy Company where an explosion in the Upper Big Branch coal mine killed 29 men in 2010. Blankenship, a controversial candidate in central Appalachia coal country, served a one-year sentence for conspiracy to violate mine safety laws and has continued to blame the government for the accident despite investigators findings. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Donald 'Don' Blankenship, former chief executive officer of Massey Energy Co., smiles as he exits the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse in Charleston, West Virginia, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. Blankenship, one of Appalachias last coal barons, was found guilty of plotting to speed up production by ignoring safety rules at a company mine that later blew up killing 29 workers. Photographer: Calvin Mattheis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, Republican U.S. Senate candidate from West Virginia, speaks during a town hall campaign event in Huntington, West Virginia, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. Blankenship has previously declared avid support for pro-coal President Donald Trump and signaled he was aligned with West Virginia's hard-working electorate. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Donald 'Don' Blankenship, former chief executive officer of Massey Energy Co., left, and one of his attorneys Alex Macia, arrive at the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse in Charleston, West Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. The jury ended an eighth day of deliberations without a verdict after a juror became ill. Prosecutors allege that he coal executive plotted to ignore safety rules before a 2010 mine explosion that killed 29. Photographer: Emily Harger/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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"Thousands die from cocaine use year after year, and he thinks it's funny that his family's shipping business hauls cocaine on the high seas. It is not funny," Blankenship said. "It is sickening."

Blankenship also slammed both Senate candidates — Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and GOP State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the victor Tuesday night — that voters have to choose between in November, saying "one will be under the thumb of (Senate Minority Leader Charles) Schumer and the other under the thumb of McConnell."

"My sincere apologies to those that understand the importance of putting America First," Blankenship's statement continued. "I failed them, yet I do not know what more I could have done. West Virginia people deserve better."

He warned, "If our country does not wake up soon, China will be the world's only superpower. America First needs to be more than a campaign slogan."

Blankenship's candidacy was controversial from the start. Republicans, including President Donald Trump, asked voters to reject the former Massey Energy CEO in Tuesday's GOP primary, arguing that he could not win in a general election against Manchin due, in part, to his one-year prison term for his role in a mining disaster that killed 29 of his coal miners.

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Coal mining in West Virginia and Appalachia
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Coal mining in West Virginia and Appalachia
The rocky landscape shows some of the last sections to be mined for coal at the Hobet site in Boone County, West Virginia, U.S. May 12, 2016. To match Special Report USA-COAL/HOBET REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A Caterpillar Inc. front loader scoops coal from a mound at the Arch Coal Inc. Sentinel Prep Plant in Philippi, West Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. Arch, the St. Louis-based holder of the second-largest reserve of coal in the U.S., filed for creditor protection Monday, with an agreement to erase $4.5 billion in debt. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Coal waits to be among the last shipments to be loaded on train cars to depart the Hobet mine in Boone County, West Virginia, U.S. May 12, 2016. Picture taken May 12, 2016. To match Special Report USA-COAL/HOBET REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Ice patches sit on a mound of coal at the Arch Coal Inc. Sentinel Prep Plant in Philippi, West Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. Arch, the St. Louis-based holder of the second-largest reserve of coal in the U.S., filed for creditor protection Monday, with an agreement to erase $4.5 billion in debt. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Coal spills out from a tower into a large pile at an Alpha Natural Resources Inc. coal preparation plant in Logan County near Yolyn, West Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. Alpha Natural Resources Inc. filed for bankruptcy in Virginia last week, becoming the latest victim of the coal industrys worst downturn in decades. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Radio channel signs are posted beside a large mound of coal at an Alpha Natural Resources Inc. coal preparation plant in Logan County near Yolyn, West Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. Alpha Natural Resources Inc. filed for bankruptcy in Virginia last week, becoming the latest victim of the coal industrys worst downturn in decades. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A mound of coal sits outside an Alpha Natural Resources Inc. coal preparation plant in Logan County near Yolyn, West Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. Alpha Natural Resources Inc. filed for bankruptcy in Virginia last week, becoming the latest victim of the coal industrys worst downturn in decades. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Views of a radically altered natural environment in southern West Virginia due to extensive mountain top removal coal mining and logging. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
Views of a radically altered natural environment in southern West Virginia due to extensive mountain top removal coal mining and logging. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
WISE COUNTY, VA - APRIL 16: A & G Coal Corporation surface mining operations continue in the Appalachian Mountains on April 16, 2012 in Wise County, Virginia. Critics refer to this type of mining as 'mountaintop removal mining' which has destroyed 500 mountain peaks and at least 1,200 miles of streams while leading to increased flooding. The Appalachians are some of the oldest mountains on Earth. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
WISE COUNTY, VA - APRIL 16: A & G Coal Corporation surface mining operations are seen in the Appalachian Mountains on April 16, 2012 in Wise County, Virginia. Critics refer to this type of mining as 'mountaintop removal mining' which has destroyed 500 mountain peaks and at least 1,200 miles of streams while leading to increased flooding. The Appalachians are some of the oldest mountains on Earth. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 16 : West Virginia Patriot mining operations at the Guston strip mine just outside of Starcity West Virginia on August 16, 2010. (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 16 : West Virginia Patriot mining operations at the Guston strip mine just outside of Starcity West Virginia on August 16, 2010. Seen here is an example of land that has been reclamed and land that is still being mined. (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call via Getty Images)
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