U.S. Senate candidate Don Blankenship is being criticized for an ad he published Thursday in his bid for the Republican nomination for West Virginia's Senate seat.
Here's why it's so controversial
Blankenship had defended his use of the term "China person" when referring to the father of the wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
"This idea that calling someone a 'China person,' I mean, I'm an American person, I don't see this insinuation by the press that there are something racist about saying a 'China person,' " he said in a debate between the candidates on Fox News.
But he appeared to double down in an ad attacking McConnell further and using more terms that some in the media are calling racist.
"Swamp captain Mitch McConnell has created millions of jobs for China people," he says in the ad. "While doing so Mitch has gotten rich. In fact his China family has given him tens of millions of dollars."
Blankenship concludes the ad with another insult, saying that he is going to "ditch Cocaine Mitch for the sake of the kids."
'I’ve never used a race word.'
Blankenship appeared to deepen his public relations problems when he was asked to comment on whether his advertisement was racist or not.
"They've always said that about me, West Virginia people," he responded. "Is West Virginia people racist? We're confused on our staff as to how it can be racist when there's no mention of a race."
"There's no race," he added. "Races are Negro, white Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian. There's no mention of a race. I've never used a race word."
Here's the controversial video ad:
Don Blankenship doubles down on phrases like "China people" and "Cocaine Mitch" in new ad that also features his undeniable charisma and charm pic.twitter.com/eiv9WUADjz
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) May 3, 2018
Blankenship is the most controversial of three front-runners in the GOP primary for the nomination to face Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.). Donald Trump Jr. called him a "train wreck" and said he would almost certainly hand the race to Manchin. The primary election is Tuesday.