McConnell pokes fun at Blankenship loss

05/09/2018 09:48 AM

After weeks of attack ads from a West Virginia Senate GOP candidate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign team got the last laugh.

After former Coal executive Don Blankenship came in a distant third in the West Virginia GOP Senate primary on Tuesday, McConnell’s campaign team tweeted out “Thanks for playing, Don”, with a picture of McConnell surrounded by a white powdery substance, likely in reference to Netflix show Narcos.

The tweet was in response to Blankenship’s nickname “Cocaine Mitch” for McConnell. In several attack ads against McConnell, Blankenship took aim at McConnell and his wife, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, dubbing McConnell “Cocaine Mitch” and saying in another advertisement, to “ditch Cocaine Mitch”.

Blankenship used this nickname because a company Chao’s father owned was implicated in smuggling cocaine aboard of ships in 2014.

The West Virginia Republican’s candidacy was marred in controversy, as some of his advertisements against McConnell were deemed racist, after he used the phrase “China People” to describe Chinese. While on a debate on Fox News, his attempt to defend his use of the word added to the rhetoric.

“I don’t see this insinuation by the press that there’s something racist about saying ‘Chinaperson’. Some people are Korean persons and some of them are African persons, there’s not any slander there,” he said.

The candidate who said he was more “Trump than Trump” didn’t have the approval of the president either. President Trump tweeted out days ago to not support Blankenship in the primary as he could not win in the general election.

In the end, Blankenship ended third in the race, with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey getting the nomination—and McConnell being able to show a little humor.

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.