CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A local bakery in the state’s capital city is having some fun with West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s colorful end to last night’s State of the State Address.
To close out this year’s State of the State Address, Thursday, Jan. 27, Justice praised the Mountain State, picked up his beloved English bulldog, Babydog, and shared a message to nay-sayers who mock the state. The governor specifically called out singer and actress Bette Midler, saying “Babydog tells Bette Midler and all those out there, ‘kiss her hiney,'” while turning Babydog’s backside toward the cameras and the state legislators.
Rock City Cake Company in Charleston got to work this morning commemorating the surprising remarks in baked goods. The cookies feature the quote, a photo of Babydog from West Virginia Day on June 20, 2021, and of Justice holding her backside toward the cameras.
Justice’s stunt stems from a tweet from Midler last month, fueled by her disapproval of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) decision to oppose the Build Back Better Plan.
In her tweet on Dec. 20, 2021, Midler said “What #JoeManchin, who represents a population smaller than Brooklyn, has done to the rest of America, who wants to move forward, not backward, like his state, is horrible. He sold us out. He wants us all to be just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate and strung out.”
Midler subsequently apologized for her outburst in a second tweet within an hour of her original tweet saying she was “just seeing red” when she made the initial tweet.
“I apologize to the good people of WVA for my last outburst. I’m just seeing red; #JoeManchin and his whole family are a criminal enterprise. Is he really the best WV has to offer its own citizens? Surely there’s someone there who has the state’s interests at heart, not his own!” the second tweet read.
In his semi-daily COVID-19 briefing the next day, the governor responded to Midler’s comments saying they were “cruel” and “unfair” to the people of the Mountain State, encouraging her to visit the state and see who the people of the state are for herself.
“To say ‘illiterate and poor and strung out’ it’s cruel and unnecessary, and I wish to goodness you would make many, many open apologies for just doing that,” Justice said in December following Midler’s comments. “This state has become a leader and this state produces the greatest people on the planet.”
There has been some blowback from the incident during the State of the State Address. The governor responded during today’s COVID-19 briefing saying calling the state “exceptional,” especially amid new companies like Nucor and GreenPower Motor Company recently announcing plans to expand into the state.
“My feelings are really simple. When it really boils down to it, I don’t like people making bad comments about West Virginia,” Justice said. “The Bette Midlers of the world can sit and say we’re ‘illiterate’ and we’re ‘backward’ and all these terrible things, absolutely, they can throw rocks, but they’re not going to throw rocks at my people if I can help it.”
This is not the first time Rock City Cake Company has had a bit of fun with the governor’s unique way with words. In December 2020, after several months of almost daily COVID-19 briefings, the bakery created the “The Big Jim Says Cookie Set,” featuring some of his most colorful and bizarre quotes.
They even sent the governor himself a batch of the cookies, which he took in stride with a laugh. He posted a photo on Facebook on Dec. 28, 2020, saying, “It’s been a rough year, but at least I’ve been able to give you a few laughs along the way!”
The local business also got to work shortly after one of the governor’s more controversial statements.
In October 2021, Charleston Mayor Amy Schuler Goodwin sent a letter to Justice as well as West Virginia Senate President Craig Blair and Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw discussing her concerns with substance abuse, homelessness and mental health problems in the state and asking the governor to call a special session. The governor responded during a COVID-19 briefing by tearing into the mayor and how she runs the capital city for about five minutes.
Regardless of whom they agreed with, some said Justice took things a little too far when he called Charleston’s first female mayor “Amy, baby” during his rant.
The day after the heated briefing, Rock City Cake Company shared a photo of a cookie with the mayor’s picture and frosted to say “Do It For Amy Baby.”
“Sometimes when life gets tough, you just gotta put it on a cookie. We love you Madam Mayor,” the business said on its Facebook page at the time.