Williamson, W.Va. – Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy Company and candidate for U.S. Senate, issued the following response to Senator Joe Manchin and Party Boss Belinda Biafore’s comments reacting to his candidacy.

Belinda Biatore, West Virginia Democratic Party Chairwoman and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin seem to have lost their minds when I announced my candidacy for U.S. Senate.

Biatore said yesterday “It looks like Mitch McConnell recruited Don Blankenship to attack Joe Manchin.” Manchin had earlier alluded to some similar nonsense saying he “would not be distracted by Mitch McConnell’s backroom deals.”

I have no idea why they dreamed up such craziness except they are paranoid that the truth is on their heels.

Instead of these paranoia driven comments, Manchin should instead be explaining why he helped Obama cover-up the real reason twenty-nine miners were killed. He should also explain why he would campaign with and support Hillary Clinton who had said she would destroy coal miners’ jobs. Joe Manchin is a tyrant and a coward who will do or say anything to keep his job. He does not care at all whether West Virginians keep theirs.

What really happened in the “backroom” was that Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) shredded documents, made charts unreadable, altered investigator reports, and came up with a plan to blame the Upper Big Branch miners for killing themselves. They did all of this to hide that they were responsible for what they themselves say was a “defective ventilation plan.” A fact that was edited out of their report when it was “fixed.”

Manchin’s MSHA friends have blood on their hands and he knows it. Manchin adamantly says he will not criticize MSHA. What kind of a person refuses to criticize a government agency that caused the death of twenty-nine coal miners? The answer is a very bad and heartless one.