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.

"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.