GOP Senate candidate says 'wealthy Chinaperson' comment isn't racist

West Virginia GOP Senate candidate Don Blankenship defended on Tuesday his use of the term "Chinaperson" to describe ...

Posted: May 2, 2018 12:15 PM
Updated: May 2, 2018 12:16 PM

West Virginia GOP Senate candidate Don Blankenship defended on Tuesday his use of the term "Chinaperson" to describe the father-in-law of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

During a Fox News GOP primary debate, Blankenship said his earlier use of the term "wealthy Chinaperson" to describe the father of McConnell's wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, is not racist.

"This idea that calling someone a 'Chinaperson' -- I mean, I'm an American-person -- I don't see this insinuation by the press that there is something racist about saying a 'Chinaperson,'" Blankenship said. "Some people are Korean-persons, some people are African-persons - it's not any slander there."

James Chao, McConnell's father-in-law, was born in China, but moved to the United States before starting the Foremost Group, a shipping company, in New York. Blankenship has said McConnell is "soft on China" and that his marriage to Elaine Chao raises "the potential for conflict of interest."

Earlier this week, Blankenship's campaign also released an ad calling the majority leader "Cocaine Mitch," pointing to a 2014 article in The Nation that reported cocaine was found on a ship belonging to Chao's company.

Asked at the debate about how he would get along with McConnell given the animus, Blankenship reiterated: "He has conflicts of interest in China."

"His family is very powerful in China and very powerful in the United States," Blankenship continued, later adding that he's "not going to DC to get along."

Blankenship, a former coal executive who served a year in prison stemming from a 2010 mine explosion, is running against Republican Rep. Evan Jenkins and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the West Virginia Senate Republican primary, which will take place next week.

A recent Fox News poll showed Blankenship lagging behind Jenkins and Morrisey. The winner of the primary will face off against Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin in the general election.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 116617

Reported Deaths: 3283
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7987178
DeSoto713479
Harrison527284
Jackson462285
Rankin398286
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Lee360080
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Jones295784
Washington259299
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Hancock85028
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Winston84421
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Clarke76151
Clay70021
Jasper69117
Walthall64027
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59917
Smith59616
Montgomery55223
Yalobusha54914
Claiborne53816
Tunica53517
Lawrence52514
Perry49823
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47714
Humphreys44916
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41211
Webster37613
Benton3456
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32715
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27710
Franklin2463
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 159439

Reported Deaths: 2699
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23443377
Mobile16934315
Tuscaloosa10414140
Montgomery10298197
Madison939496
Shelby743663
Baldwin669469
Lee655065
Calhoun462161
Marshall441150
Etowah431251
Morgan418235
Houston418034
DeKalb346129
Elmore322753
St. Clair299942
Limestone289330
Walker282392
Talladega267435
Cullman250824
Lauderdale231342
Jackson217515
Autauga207431
Franklin206131
Colbert204132
Russell19533
Blount194225
Chilton189332
Dallas187227
Coffee179511
Dale177251
Covington175529
Escambia173030
Clarke135317
Chambers135244
Pike134413
Tallapoosa133087
Marion109729
Barbour10339
Marengo102522
Butler101340
Winston93713
Geneva9167
Lawrence86132
Pickens86018
Bibb84314
Randolph82916
Hale77730
Clay74912
Washington74912
Cherokee74514
Henry7196
Lowndes71428
Bullock64917
Monroe64810
Crenshaw60930
Perry5936
Fayette58413
Cleburne5738
Wilcox57012
Conecuh56113
Macon53720
Lamar5065
Sumter47321
Choctaw39212
Greene34616
Coosa2053
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