Among his qualifications for the U.S. Senate, Rep. Evan Jenkins wants West Virginia voters to know that he once attended a Christmas party with Donald Trump, flew with him on Air Force One and watched two movies in the president’s private theater at the White House.
“He sat there right from beginning to end,” Jenkins (R) said of the screenings of “12 Strong,” a military thriller, and “The 15:17 to Paris,” the recent Clint Eastwood flick. “I have a great working relationship with him.”
WOW! What more could we ask from a Republican?
How about working with the president to rid West Virginia of all of its sanctuary cities? That's one of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's claims. As he told NPR:
"I think it's important, someone who's worked with the president and has been able to help him on fighting against sanctuary cities, unlawful amnesty," Morrisey told NPR an interview. "We've stepped up, and we've helped him time after time."
(I know, I know. West Virginia doesn't have any sanctuary cities. Not anymore. Apparently Morrisey blew them up with the same fake mountain that he used to blow-up Washington.)
But let's not forget the candidate who may out-Trump the Trump-lovers: Don Blankenship
Here's the Washington Post commenting on the recent Republican debate in Martinsburg:
The candidate most attuned to Trump’s persona was the fourth person on stage, the former coal baron Don Blankenship, who is campaigning while on probation after serving time in federal prison for conspiring to break mine safety laws. In 2010, a coal-dust explosion at a West Virginia mine run by his company killed 29 miners.
“I’m the most popular hostile campaigner in America, probably,” Blankenship said in a low, rumbling delivery. “I’m not running to make friends with the candidates up here.”
. . . . his campaign manager, Greg Thomas, later explained that the Blankenship candidacy was based on a set of policy priorities that matched the Trump agenda and a similar devil-may-care attitude of a brawler who will fight for the state’s residents.
Blankenship’s rivals “want to say, ‘Trump likes me the best,’ where what we are trying to do is say, ‘We are the most like Trump,’ ” Thomas said.
Yes, I would agree.
The (Republican) Empire Strikes Back
It appears that some mainstream Republicans are worried enough about Don Blankenship that they're willing to finance an anti-Blankenship ad even though there is the chance that the ad might backfire on them. From Politico:
The Republican establishment has launched an emergency intervention in the West Virginia Senate primary aimed at stopping recently imprisoned coal baron Don Blankenship from winning the party’s nomination.
Late last week, a newly formed super PAC generically dubbed the “Mountain Families PAC” began airing TV ads targeting Blankenship, who spent one year behind bars following a deadly 2010 explosion at his Upper Big Branch Mine. The national party isn’t promoting its role in the group, but its fingerprints are all over it.
Here's their ad (I saw it earlier tonight on the statewide news at 5:30):