Convicted Coal CEO Don Blankenship Blames Trump for His Loss After Running Wildly Racist Campaign
West Virginia GOP Senate candidate and disgraced coal CEO Don Blankenship blamed President Donald Trump Tuesday night as he conceded that he had decisively lost the state's primary election.
In his speech, he said he wasn't sure what went wrong in his campaign, but he pointed to the fact that the president had specifically endorsed the two other Republicans in the race, Evan Jenkins and Patrick Morrissey. Indeed, Trump's "endorsement" of Morissey and Jenkins was less an expression of faith in their qualifications and more a condemnation of Blankenship.
Blankenship won about 20 percent of the vote, while Jenkins garnered about 29 percent, according to the New York Times. Morissey won the primary with around 35 percent.
But Trump was hardly Blankenship's biggest hurdle. The former coal CEO is best known for being convicted of violating mine safety standards after 29 miners working for Massey Energy Company were killed.
During the campaign, he broadcast absurd ads attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for having family ties to China. He billed himself as "Trumpier than Trump" — perhaps that's why he saw the president's lack of support as so damaging.
The best explanation for his loss, though, is the simpler one: He was a deeply flawed candidate with an outrageous campaign strategy and horrifying criminal past. There's little wonder he didn't win over West Virginia voters.