West Virginia Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship fired back at President Donald Trump on Monday, implying that the president is part of the swamp he vowed to drain while lifting up his own Trump bonafides.
The odd juxtaposition came a few hours after Trump's early morning tweet that West Virginians should vote for either Rep. Evan Jenkins or attorney general Patrick Morrisey in Tuesday's GOP Senate primary because the controversial coal mining exec would not be able to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin in November.
"Tomorrow, West Virginia will send the swamp a message—no one, and I mean no one, will tell us how to vote. As some have said, I am Trumpier than Trump and this morning proves it," Blankenship posted in a statement to his website.
Trump used Roy Moore's primary victory in Alabama as a warning to West Virginia Republicans that electing Blankenship, a man who spent time in prison for a coal mining disaster 8 years ago, would result in Manchin winning reelection.
"I am the only candidate that has beaten Joe Manchin, and I have done it twice. In the history of West Virginia, no one has been more supportive of the Republican Party and conservative causes than I have been," Blankenship said in the statement.
"Neither of my opponents can beat Joe Manchin without my support, but I will beat Joe Manchin even without the support of the establishment," Blankenship said.
Recent polls have been all over the map on the primary race:
- Fox: Jenkins 25 percent; Morrisey 21 percent; Blankenship 16 percent.
- GOPAC: Morrisey 24 percent; Jenkins 20 percent; Blankenship 12 percent.
Meanwhile, Republicans were panicking over the weekend over polling that showed Blankenship had taken a slight lead over Jenkins and Morrisey.
Regardless, Blankenship remains undeterred.
"I will win the primary and I will beat Joe Manchin," Blankenship wrote.
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