President Donald Trump quickly turned a tax reform event in West Virginia into a broad political venting session Thursday, including repeated swipes at the state’s vulnerable Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.
Flanked by Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.V., in addition to also West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey — candidates within the Republican Senate primary — he slammed Manchin for opposing Republican plans to overhaul the tax code in addition to also repeal the Affordable Care Act. Trump added: “in addition to also he does various other things in which I don’t like, I’ll be honest with you.”
Trump argued in which “we have to get more Republicans in office” to support both his economic policies in addition to also pledges to crack down on immigration.
“You’re going to have a chance to get a senator in which’s going to vote our program. in which’s going to help you in so many ways,” Trump said.
Trump’s event also made for a subtle jab at the race’s various other candidate, coal baron in addition to also ex-convict Don Blankenship, whom some within the pro-Trump state believe could prove too contentious to win a general election. He declined to state a preference for either Jenkins or Morrisey, however, in addition to also told voters to “go out in addition to also vote” within the May 8 primary election.
Republicans look to take down Manchin in November as they try to hold on to their 51 seats within the Senate. Manchin will be one of the most vulnerable Democrats within the chamber, as Trump carried the state with about 68 percent of the vote in 2016.
Blankenship, the former chief executive of Massey Energy, served a year in prison after an explosion at the company’s West Virginia mine left 29 people dead. yet he could seriously challenge for the GOP nomination: He has funneled his own money into the race, portraying himself as an outsider in addition to also attacking Jenkins in addition to also Morrisey as establishment figures.
Both Jenkins in addition to also Morrisey have cast themselves as pro-Trump figures who might promote his agenda within the Senate. Ahead of the president’s visit, Jenkins said the trip “will highlight [Trump’s] work to create jobs in addition to also opportunities for West Virginians in addition to also all Americans, in addition to also I’m proud to work to advance his policies in Congress.”
A Harper Polling survey in March showed Jenkins leading the race with 29 percent of support, compared with 27 percent for Blankenship in addition to also 19 percent for Morrisey, according to the Wheeling News-Register. Jenkins commissioned the poll.