On the eve of the primary, West Virginia's most bombastic candidate, U.S. Senate hopeful Don Blankenship, has turned on the man he is emulating.
But on Monday morning, Trump told his supporters not to vote for Blankenship, fearful he would lose like accused child molester Roy Moore did in Alabama — even though Trump very much had a hand in that campaign.
And Blankenship was not happy.
So he put out a new statement, reiterating that he is "Trumpier than Trump." But this time he did not mean that as a compliment for the president.
Take note of these lines: “Tomorrow, WV will send the swamp a message—no one, and I mean no one, will tell us how to vote. As some have said, I am Trumpier than Trump and this morning proves it.” #wvsen pic.twitter.com/1JEpcVRw2h
— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) May 7, 2018
"The President is a very busy man and he doesn't know me and he doesn't know how flawed my two main opponents are in the primary," said Blankenship's statement.
"Tomorrow, WV will send the swamp a message — no one, and I mean no one, will tell us how to vote," he concluded. "As some have said, I am Trumpier than Trump and this morning proves it."
In other words, Blankenship is saying that even Trump cannot hold a candle to him when it comes to upholding the values of ... Trump.
And to be fair, Blankenship certainly could hold his own against Trump depravity. He served a year in prison for conspiracy in connection with an explosion that killed two dozen miners at a facility he owned. And his final weeks of his campaign have been marked by an appallingly racist attacks on GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell's "China family."
Despite all of this, Blankenship is surging in internal campaign polls, and Republicans are terrified he could win the nomination in this Tuesday's primary. The view among some in the GOP is that if he wins it, his opponent, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, will coast to easy re-election.
Trump's toxic brand of politics is now empowering rogue candidates like Blankenship to blow up major races. And now not even he can control this monster.