Dog proposed as ‘better governor’ for US state

Actress Bette Midler has resumed bashing West Virginia’s education after the state’s governor told her to kiss his bulldog’s ‘hiney’

A month after apologizing for insulting West Virginia as “poor, illiterate, and strung out,” Bette Midler has resumed her political feud with the state, hitting back after an insult from Governor Jim Justice by pointing to low performance rankings.

“Judging from these rankings, I’d say his dog’s ass would make a better governor than him,” the Hollywood actress-turned-activist said on Twitter on Friday. Her post included a chart showing West Virginia’s low rankings relative to other states in such categories as economy, education, healthcare, and infrastructure.

Midler’s comment was in reference to a stunt that Justice pulled at the end of his State of the State address on Thursday night, when he held up his bulldog, turned its rear to the audience and quipped, “Babydog tells Bette Midler and all those out there to kiss her hiney.” West Virginia lawmakers responded by giving him a standing ovation, and the move went viral on social media.

Midler didn’t cite a source for her chart, but it apparently came from US News & World Report. The outlet’s rankings are based on its own select criteria: for instance, it judges the state of infrastructure on such factors as renewable energy usage and an estimate of road conditions.

Last month, Midler blasted US Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), claiming he wanted all of America to be like his home state: “poor, illiterate, and strung out.” She launched the attack because Manchin wasn’t supporting President Joe Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ agenda, and she later apologized after her comment stirred public outrage.

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At the time, Justice called Midler’s insult “cruel” and “really, really unfair,” noting that West Virginians have “had a struggle,” but they are the “very best people” and have achieved great progress in recent years – the state boasts one of the fastest-growing economies in the US. 

In Thursday’s address, after noting such accomplishments as having landed the largest business investment in the state’s history, Justice directed the “hiney” comment at Midler and other people who “doubted” West Virginia and “told every bad joke in the world about us.”

Bette Midler is shown at a 2019 awards event in New York City. © Getty Images / Mark Sagliocco/WireImage

Midler has retweeted several Twitter posts criticizing the governor, including one that thanked Justice for confirming “all our worst stereotypes about Southern dumf**k men.” 

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