Bette Midler hit back at West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) after he told her to kiss his dog’s “hiney” in a somewhat graphic display this week.
Justice concluded his State of the State address on Thursday night by picking up Babydog, his English bulldog, and presenting her anus to the cameras.
“Babydog tells Bette Midler and all those out there: Kiss her hiney,” he said.
Justice’s foul request was in reference to insulting comments Midler made in December about the people of West Virginia. The actor and singer had been criticizing Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) for his refusal to support Democrats’ Build Back Better legislation, and she tweeted that Manchin “wants us all to be just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate and strung out.”
Midler received backlash from both the left and the right for her characterization of West Virginians and apologized, saying she had been “seeing red” over Manchin’s actions.
But she may not have totally absorbed the lesson about not mocking the state.
“BTW, here are the state rankings of all the areas and agencies for which the so-called ‘Governor’ of WVA, #JimJustice, is responsible,” she tweeted in her Friday response to Justice, alongside a chart that appears to have been sourced from U.S. News & World Report. “Judging from these rankings, I’d say his dog’s ass would make a better Governor than him!”
For Justice’s part, his stunt with Babydog was the butt of some backlash too, with Democratic state delegate Shawn Fluharty telling The Guardian that the governor “habitually lowers the bar of our state.”