Don Blankenship explains U.S. Senate run - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Don Blankenship explains U.S. Senate run

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SPRIGG, W.Va. (WVVA) In his first television interview since announcing his run for the U.S. Senate, Ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship took questions on why he is running, whether he is a West Virginia resident, and his plan to oust U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, (D) West Virginia, on Tuesday. 

Moore:  The first question is a simple one. Why are you running?

Blankenship: I'm running because I think I can make a difference. I don't think West Virginia has to be on the bottom of every list. I think I can make a very real difference in the way people have to live in West Virginia. 

Moore: Are you in it to win it?

Blankenship: We'll see. I have to see if I can get into the right position. I don't like to lose. That's why I call myself a competitionist on my website. But we'll see. It's hard to beat a lifetime politician. It's sad but the best liars usually win. I don't intend to lie to the public. Sometimes people don't like to hear the truth. But I think they're tired of hearing Manchin and Jenkins telling them what they're going to do but it never gets done.

Moore: You're a wealthy man. You could retire and enjoy a nice life. Why public service?

Blankenship: I've been around West Virginia and lived in poverty, been in the working class, worked in the coal mines. I'm now wealthy, but I remember how it was. I know more than people in D.C. how hard is to not be able to afford a cheer leading outfit for your kid, pay for your ga,s and mortgage. And I'm fed up with people like Joe Manchin and Evan Jenkins promising something all the time and never doing anything.

Moore: U.S. Senator Joe Manchin has suggested this is all part of a backroom deal with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. What does he mean?

Blankenship: I have no idea. It's a disjointed comment as far as I can tell. Mitch McConnell and I haven't spoken in six or seven years and I don't agree with a lot of his positions. And certainly I've had no discussion with him on whether to run.

Moore: There's been a lot of speculation in some of the Charleston papers as to whether you are even a West Virginia resident. Are you?

Blankenship: I'm a West Virginia resident. I've been a West Virginia resident most of my life. I consider myself a West Virginian. My heart is in West Virginia. I'm legally qualified to run in West Virginia, but I have homes also in other places. But I spend half my time here. 


Moore: Let's say you win...what's your first move in Washington? 

Blankenship: Sit down with President Trump and others and make sure we know how we compare to other places in the world. We've got to quit arguing among ourselves. We've got to take care of the people in the United States. Trump understands that, whether it's the wall or illegal immigration or trade policy. But we have to move now if we have any chance of catching up.

What is the biggest misconception you believe people make about you?

Blankenship: The biggest misconception is that I'm responsible or at fault for the explosion at UBB. I hadn't been in that mine for 10 or 15 years. The government had been in the mine everyday. They had cut the air in half. They lied about what happened after that. I'm trying to make sure open-minded people understand that. 

 

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