CHARLESTON – Don Blankenship said in a statement Thursday that West Virginians don’t want career politicians and, instead want someone who will stand with the president and against the D.C. Establishment.

On Thursday, Blankenship thanked President Trump for his visit to West Virginia to highlight the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which he supports.

Blankenship said he supports all of Trump’s efforts to improve the state’s economy and the national economy and his effort to put America first.

Blankenship also agreed with Trump that Sen. Joe Manchin too often sides with Washington liberals and votes against the best interests of working West Virginians.

Blankenship said many in the D.C. establishment believe the best way to beat Manchin is to find someone exactly like him and run that person as a Republican.

“Voters in West Virginia don’t want Joe Manchin-lite anymore than they want Joe Manchin” Blankenship said. “Trying to trick voters by dressing up a candidate like Evan Jenkins with the same principles and failed policy positions of Joe Manchin smacks of the swamp logic that voters all across America are rejecting”

Blankenship said Trump rightfully told voters that Manchin “is all talk and votes ‘no’ on basically everything that will help move our state forward.”

“I am the only person in this race who can and will beat Joe Manchin in November,” Blankenship said. “I strongly oppose Joe Manchin and his policies that led West Virginia to last in jobs, lowest in pay and among the worst in education.”

Blankenship said he is not afraid to tell Manchin he disagrees with him and he believes voters want someone who will stand with Trump and against the D.C. establishment.

Blankenship said he believes it is important to remind voters that both Patrick Morrisey and Jenkins are career politicians willing to say and do anything to get elected and neither is capable of defeating Manchin in November.

“Evan Jenkins has run for office in West Virginia 10 times, including 7 times as a liberal Democrat,” Blankenship said. “He supported Hillary Clinton, he supported John Kerry, he supported Obamacare and he supported Joe Manchin—it will be impossible for Evan Jenkins to beat Joe Manchin in November, because they are exactly alike—we may as well call him Little Joe Manchin.”

Blankenship said Morrisey is also acting a lot like Manchin.

“He and Manchin both want voters to believe they are strong supporters of Donald Trump, but neither one of them publicly supported Donald Trump in his primary election for President of the United States and only became supporters when they realized Trump would win West Virginia with 70 percent of the vote,” Blankenship said. “Even worse, both Manchin’s and Morrisey’s families make huge profits from big drug companies, while telling West Virginia voters they are working to fight our state’s drug abuse problem.  Both Manchin and Morrisey have close ties to Planned Parenthood, a group that pays for abortions, while telling voters they are pro-life.”

Blankenship said voters in West Virginia are tired of politics as usual and they are tired of the D.C. establishment telling them who they can and can’t vote for.

“ They want more jobs and a stronger economy,” he said “They want to end the drug abuse epidemic that is crippling our state. They want stronger immigration laws and they want to build the wall. It’s time for the career politicians and establishment of Manchin/Jenkins/Morrisey to say goodbye so we can get West Virginia moving again.”

Morrisey’s spokesperson, Nachama Soloveichik said Morrisey is a proven conservative fighter who defeated the War on Coal, expanded gun rights, protected unborn life and tacked substance abuse.

“Patrick has also worked hand-in-hand with the Trump administration to crack down on illegal immigration,” Soloveichik said. “Patrick is proud of his support for President Trump and looks forward to working with him in the U.S. Senate. These are more baseless allegations from someone who must believe he needs to bring everyone down to his level of baggage to win.”

Jenkins’ campaign didn’t return a request for comment.

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