Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles 2018

Stephen Colbert digs deeper into Don Blankenship's bizarre campaigns for Senate, against 'Cocaine Mitch,' China

Don Blankenship, a Republican candidate for Senate in West Virginia, got some attention for a bizarre campaign ad he released Thursday evening, but Stephen Colbert wants you to know it wasn't his first dip into unconventional political advertising this week. "Blankenship came out swinging on Monday" with an ad in which he mentioned twice that he "went to prison for blowing up a coal mine," followed by another ad in which he hit back at "Cocaine Mitch." Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show, confused. "Are you saying that this Mitch McConnell is high on coke? Mitch, I say this as a friend: You need to do harder drugs ... something to kick the energy up."

Blankenship explained that he is talking about cocaine allegedly smuggled aboard a ship owned by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's father-in-law, James Chao, who was born in China. "Okay, so now you're liable for your father-in-law's crimes?" Colbert asked. "Watch out, Jared." But Blankenship also raised eyebrows for referring to Chao as a "wealthy Chinaperson." "Chinaperson? Mr. Blankenship, you're starting to sound like a real assperson," Colbert said. "A lot of folks took exception to the term 'Chinaperson,' but Donny defended himself," saying he also believes in "Koreanpersons" and "Africanpersons." Nope, "no one talks like that, except aliens trying to blend in," Colbert said.

McConnell's opposition to Blankenship's candidacy isn't personal so much as rooted in concern that if Blankenship wins the GOP nomination, the GOP will lose the race. Colbert wasn't terribly sympathetic on that point: "Yeah, Mitch, Obama wanted his nominee to be on the Supreme Court, but sometimes a shady bastard ruins your plans, am I right?" Watch below. Peter Weber