Facts About Don Blankenship, The Third-Party Presidential Candidate Who Claims He's 'Trumpier Than Trump'

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Don Blankenship
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Trumpier than Trump? Looks like Donald Trump isn't the only presidential candidate on the right this upcoming election. Don Blankenship is a pro-life, right-wing (or rather, far-right-wing), American business executive. He lost the U.S. Senate election in 2018 and is currently a third-party candidate for the 2020 Presidential election. From causing a mine explosion that killed twenty-nine people to describing his clearly racist attacks as "not racist," he's offended and jeopardized the well-being of many. 

Who is Don Blankenship?

Don Blankenship is a convicted criminal, former coal executive, and Constitution Party nominee for the upcoming U.S. presidential election in 2020. He also has two children, John and Jennifer.

In 2019, his salary was $17.9 million, making him the highest-paid person in the coal industry. He's a 70-year-old multimillionaire and used to be the Chairman and CEO of the Massey Energy Company. 

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What does Don Blankenship stand for — or rather, against?

As a multi-millionaire, Blankenship was able to drop over one million of his own dollars on his presidential campaign. From aiming to curtail abortion rights and supporting the building of a border wall, it's clear that his values are very much aligned with Trump's. In fact, in 2018, he even stated that he is "Trumpier than Trump," which is a terrifying statement in and of itself.

What is the Constitution Party?

The Constitution Party is a far-right U.S. political party that upholds the U.S. Constitution. Party members oppose euthanasia and abortion, no matter the circumstance. They believe that marriage should be strictly between "a man and a woman." They're pro-gun, pro-life, anti-immigration, and believe that the states should be given the option to inflict the death penalty. Yikes.

Blankenship served one year in prison. 

In 2010, twenty-nine people were killed after an explosion of his company's mine. The explosion was one of the “deadliest in American coal mining in about 40 years.”

Founded guilty of a misdemeanor for violating mining-safety standards, he was sentenced to a year in Taft Correctional Institution. In 2017, he was released; three years later, he's decided to run for President of the United States.  

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He targeted Mitch McConnell's Chinese-American wife, Elaine Chao. 

He accused Mitch McConnell, who Blankenship referred to as “Swamp Captain Mitch” and "Cocaine Mitch," for getting rich off of his “China family” and making jobs for “China people.” The racist comments were directed at McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao, who was born in Taipei, Taiwan. She immigrated to the United States as a young girl and received her American citizenship at the age of nineteen. 

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Blankenship also targeted Chao's father, founder of Foremost Group, an American shipping company. "Trumpier than Trump," that's for sure. 

Don Blankenship even denied that his racist comments were racist. 

When asked about his use of the phrase “China person” in the Republican primary debate, Blankenship denied that the phrase was racist.

“This idea that … uh …” he stuttered, “calling somebody a China person… I mean,” he stuttered again, “I’m an America person… I don’t see this….uh insinuation by the press that there’s something racist about saying 'a China person.' Some people are Korean persons and some of ‘em are Africa Persons. It’s not… any slander there."

In a segment on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah raised an eyebrow to Blankenship's response. "As an Africa person," he joked, "and as American persons, I think we can all agree that that’s a B.S. person."

This isn't the first time Blankenship has been transparent about his racist agenda to the public.

In a radio ad, he said, “I will represent West Virginia people, not China people. I am an America person, and I will put America first." 

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Izzy Casey is a writer who covers pop culture.