West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice sent a clear message to those who have anything negative to say about the state, including Grammy-winning singer Bette Midler.
At his 2022 State of the State address on Thursday, Justice grabbed his famous bulldog Babydog and turned her rear end to the audience saying, "Babydog tells Bette Midler and all those out there, 'kiss her hiney.'”
Last month, Midler called out West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin in a tweet that gave a scathing view of the elected official and a dig at West Virginia as collateral damage.
"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," she tweeted.
She later apologized for the tweet and said she "was seeing red."
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!
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) December 20, 2021
Before the controversial move, Justice shared with the audience some of West Virginia's accomplishments, including the lowest unemployment rate in state history and agreements with major companies to provide jobs.
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"They never believed they would be here. They told every bad joke in the world about us," Justice said.
After Babydog's hiney made the grand appearance, Justice received a standing ovation from the audience and concluded the speech by saying he told them he would make them smile.
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jim Justice grabs bulldog to tell Bette Midler to 'kiss her hiney'