Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com
Trump doesn’t often have time to reach out to the families of slain U.S. soldiers, the survivors of gun massacres, and brave American heroes. But he does have time to reach out to people like Don Blankenship, after the Republican and convicted criminal lost his bid to become the GOP’s nominee for the U.S. Senator from West Virginia.
Trump touched base Wednesday after the state’s primary contest.
“Trump and Blankenship spoke briefly, according to three people familiar with the discussion,” Politico reported. “The conversation was described as straightforward, polite and cordial, with the president calling to exchange pleasantries and offer his congratulations on waging the campaign.”
Trump’s kind words came after Blankenship ran an extraordinarily racist campaign, airing attack ads that ridiculed GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell’s wife as a “wealthy Chinaperson.” In a campaign ad, Blankenship attacked McConnell for getting “tens of millions of dollars” from his “China family.”
After that, he received a warm call from Trump to offer congratulations.
The latest addition to the GOP’s rogues gallery, Blankenship was the “Trumpier than Trump” candidate —who also happens to be a convicted criminal who served time in prison for conspiring to violate mine safety regulations after an explosion at his Upper Big Branch Mine killed 29 people in 2010.
Fearing that Blankenship couldn’t win in November against incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, Trump this week tweeted that West Virginia supporters should not support Blankenship. But Trump still gave him a call.
Trump’s embrace of an ugly character like Blankenship stands in contrast to his routine refusal to call to offer up warm words to people who are far more deserving.
Trump has yet to publicly acknowledge the loss of 22-year-old Army specialist Gabriel Conde who became the second American to die while fighting in Afghanistan this year.
Last October, when ISIS gunmen in Niger killed four Army Special Forces troops in an ambush, Trump refused to acknowledge Americans’ sacrifice, let alone honor them or offer condolences.
Trump has refused to publicly praise the heroic actions of James Shaw Jr. Police say the unarmed Shaw risked his life when he leapt to action during a shooting at a restaurant in Tennessee.
And more recently, Trump has only reached out to the families of the Parkland, Florida, school massacre if they support his calls to arm teachers.
But at least convicted criminal Blankenship got a friendly call from Trump after running a racist campaign.