Don Blankenship, a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in West Virginia, has unveiled another round of bizarre attack ads against Mitch McConnell. His campaign’s newest offensive contains the claim that the Senate majority leader created “millions of jobs for China people.”
The 30-second advertisement also asserts that McConnell’s “China family has given him tens of millions of dollars.”
McConnell is married to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who was born in Taiwan and moved to the U.S. when she was a child. Chao’s father, James S.C. Chao, is the founder of a highly successful shipping company.
The advertisement is slated to begin airing on May 4 in advance of West Virginia’s May 8 primary, according to Politico. But it’s only the latest in a string of xenophobic attacks Blankenship has launched against McConnell, who is not a candidate in the race, and his family.
"I have an issue when the father-in-law is a wealthy Chinaperson and there's a lot of connections to some of the brass, if you will, in China," Blankenship explained to a West Virginia radio station in April.
Blankenship’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a VICE News request for comment.
Earlier this week, Blankenship aired an ad calling for voters to “ditch cocaine Mitch” in what appeared to be another reference to the Chao family, which owned a shipping vessel on which drugs were reportedly found aboard in 2014.
The West Virginia GOP also didn’t immediately reply to a VICE News request for comment.
Blankenship, a coal baron who oversaw Massey Energy, filed to run for the seat just six months after he was released from prison, where he was serving time for a misdemeanor conviction stemming from a 2010 mining disaster that killed 29 people, one of the deadliest incidents in 40 years.
McConnell’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. However, his longtime political adviser Josh Holmes called Blankenship the “West Virginia Roy Moore,” tweeting, “This clown is a walking talking case study for the limitation of a prison’s ability to rehabilitate.”
— Carter Sherman contributed to this report