West Virginia GOP candidate Don Blankenship defended his use of a racial slur on Tuesday when he referred to the father-in-law of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a "Chinaperson."
The Republican-hopeful for the U.S. senate received backlash for what many believed was racist. But he casually dismissed the criticism and defended his choice of words during a primary debate hosted by Fox News.
This idea that calling somebody a 'Chinaperson,' I mean, I'm an American person. I don't see this insinuation by the press that there's something racist about saying a 'Chinaperson.
Blankenship targeted the father of McConnell's wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao – whose father, James Chao, was born in China but later moved to New York to start the Foremost Group shipping company in New York.
He expressed his concern with McConnell's father-in-law's "extensive" ties to China.
I have an issue when the father-in-law is a wealthy Chinaperson and there's a lot of connections to some of the brass, if you will, in China.
People didn't forget that Blankenship was a former CEO of a coal mining company and served time in prison for conspiring to violate federal mining safety standards which resulted in an explosion of Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine on April 5, 2010, killing 29 men.
The outspoken supporter of Donald Trump also said he's read books on McConnell being "too soft on China," and believes the Senate Majority Leader's marriage to Elaine raises a potential "conflict of interest."
He contradicted himself when he demanded the full transparency of senators' business ties but later reportedly told the Times that nobody "should have to disclose private information."
Twitter schooled Blankenship on racial etiquette and ignorance.