What in the world did I just watch pic.twitter.com/4eudpGAxp0— Liam Donovan (@LPDonovan) May 3, 2018
As a follow-up to his ad suggesting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a cocaine smuggler, West Virginia Republican Senate primary candidate Don Blankenship has made a race-baiting ad accusing McConnell of working on behalf of "China people."
Blankenship Criticizes Mitch McConnell's "China Family"Once again Blankenship speaks to the camera in a laconic drawl, while standing in front of house and an American flag. Blankenship doesn't waste time attacking McConnell: "Swamp captain Mitch McConnell has created millions of jobs for China people. While doing so, Mitch has gotten rich. In fact, his China family has given him tens of millions of dollars."
Blankenship is alluding to the fact that McConnell is married to Elaine Chao, who is Chinese and emigrated to America when she was a child, and her family owns a very successful shipping company. The Chao family has given McConnell and his wife millions, but the shipping business is headquartered in New York, not China. And while Blankenship is borrowing from Donald Trump's "drain the swamp" slogan in dubbing McConnell the "swamp captain," he neglects to mention Trump named Chao his Transportation Secretary.
Blankenship moves on to complain about the ad campaign Republican operatives are running against him, as they fear Blankenship can't win the general election: "Mitch’s swamp people are now running false, negative ads against me. They’re also childishly calling me despicable and mentally ill."
Blankenship China-Bashes "For the Sake of the Kids"?Without much of a segue, Blankenship ends the ad by holding up two young girls and declaring, "The work to drain the swamp and create jobs for West Virginia people has begun. I will beat Joe Manchin and ditch Cocaine Mitch for the sake of the kids."
While Blankenship slyly used the phrase "West Virginia people" to imply that there's nothing racist about "China people," few are buying it. The conservative Daily Caller website flatly called Blankenship's remarks "racist." CNN's Chris Cillizza dubbed Blankenship "the worst candidate in America."
Blankenship is clearly trying to stoke animus among West Virginia toward China with his comments, but he may not hold any animus towards China himself. As Politico reported, "in 1999 Blankenship spoke of moving to China and becoming a Chinese citizen" and "Blankenship’s girlfriend was born in China."