Update: Bette Midler took to Twitter to respond to West Virginia Republican Gov. Jim Justice's suggestion that she and any other critics kiss his bulldog's "hiney." The actress tweeted Friday, "BTW, here are the state rankings of all the areas and agencies for which the so-called "Governor" of WVA, #JimJustice, is responsible. Judging from these rankings, I'd say his dog's ass would make a better Governor than him!" CNN reports the tweet featured a screenshot of West Virginia's performance on US News & World Report's "best state" list; the state clocked in at No. 47 overall. Our original story from Friday follows:
West Virginia is the butt of a lot of jokes, and Gov. Jim Justice just couldn’t take anymore during his second State of the Union address on Thursday, USA Today reports. The governor showed the audience the rear end of his beloved bulldog Babydog and said, “Babydog tells Bette Midler and all those out there, ‘kiss her hiney.’” He was referring to a recent online rant by Midler directed at West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin in which she referred to state residents as "poor, illiterate and strung out.” More than 22,000 people liked Midler’s tweet and nearly 12,000 quoted or retweeted it. The Grammy winner later apologized.
Before holding up Bulldog’s rear end, Justice said of his critics, “They never believed in West Virginia, that we could do it,” Politico reports. “They told every bad joke in the world about us,” the governor added. As of Friday afternoon, Midler had not used her Twitter account to respond to Justice’s comments. Even before being the literal butt of a joke, Babydog at just one year old has been a famous face in West Virginia and beyond. The pooch is the face of West Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign targeted at students. Students who got vaccinated were entered into a drawing with prizes ranging from scholarships to a party with Babydog and the governor present. (Read more Bette Midler stories.)