CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Gov. Jim Justice has a message for singer and actress Bette Midler, who called West Virginians “poor, illiterate and strung out” in a tweet after Sen. Joe Manchin refused to support President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act.
The 70-year-old Republican governor ended his televised State of the State address Thursday night by lifting up his English bulldog and flashing its rear end to the cameras and crowd.
“Babydog tells Bette Midler and all those out there: Kiss her heinie,” Justice said, grinning as people applauded and some gave him a standing ovation.
Justice had spent more than an hour touting the state’s accomplishments, including two recently announced economic development projects.
“Absolutely too many people doubted us,” he said. “They never believed in West Virginia. … They told every bad joke in the world about us.”
The crowd in the House of Delegates gallery included lawmakers, state Supreme Court justices, agency heads and members of the high school girl’s basketball team Justice coaches, who were sitting in the gallery.