UPDATE (4:51 p.m. on Friday, Jan 28): In the wake of Justice’s “hiney” comment on Thursday, Bette Midler once again took to Twitter to call out West Virginia’s leadership.
“BTW, here are the state rankings of all the areas and agencies for which the so-called ‘Governor’ of WVA, #JimJustice, is responsible,” she wrote, referring to an attached screengrab from U.S. News and World Report which ranked West Virginia as 47th overall in its 2021 list of “Best States.”
“Judging from these rankings, I’d say his dog’s a– would make a better Governor than him!” Midler wrote.
CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—West Virginia Governor Jim Justice had a message for those who have doubted the state.
The governor listed recent accomplishments in the state, including the addition of Nucor facilities in West Virginia, but it was the end of his speech that some will likely find controversial.
Justice concluded his 2022 State of the State address by bringing up his famous bulldog, Babydog, picking her up, turning her rear end to the audience, and saying “Babydog tells Bette Midler and all those out there, kiss her hiney.”
The move was met by a standing ovation from the West Virginia Legislature.
Back at the end of December 2021, Midler had tweeted criticizing West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, calling him “just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate and strung out.”
“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 tweeted.
In response, Jim Justice had the following to say during one of his COVID-19 press conferences:
“Bette, it’s cruel, and it’s really, really unfair. You know, we’ve had a struggle, just like anybody’s had a struggle, but just think about what we’ve done. In the last few years, we have become the diamond in the rough that everybody’s missed. We have the four most beautiful seasons on the planet. Absolutely, we have the very best people, and I would welcome you to come and see these people. See these people that really care. People that love and appreciate what others by what they do,” Justice said.
Justice’s full speech can be seen here.