CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Governor Jim Justice is defending his behavior during Thursday night’s State of the State Address. The governor was touting the state’s latest economic development success, and he took time out to fire back at those who’ve criticized West Virginia as a backward state.

In particular, he and his pet Babydog singled out entertainer Bette Midler.

Last night Justice said, “They told every bad joke in the world about us. And so from that standpoint Baby Dog tells Bette Midler and all those out there, ‘Kiss her hiney!'”

As he said this, he turned Babydog’s rear end toward the cameras.

On Friday, Justice was asked about his stunt during the COVID-19 briefing, and he defended himself.

“I’m not backing up a bit. The Bette Midler’s of the world can sit and say we’re illiterate, and we’re backward and all these terrible things. Absolutely, they can throw rocks but they’re not going to throw rocks at my people if I can help it,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.

While the governor was criticized by some callers on talk radio today, he says he doesn’t care about that.
Also today, he invited Bette Midler to visit West Virginia and see what it’s really like firsthand.

Midler has since responded to the governor’s stunt on Twitter saying “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!”