Morgantown, West Virginia – Earlier this week, celebrity singer-songwriter Bette Midler responded to Senator Joe Manchin’s refusal to support the Build Back Better bill by insulting the state of West Virginia by saying, “What Joe Manchin, 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.”
Midler has faced backlash from many West Virginians and today, the Governor of the Mountain State, Jim Justice, responded by saying the following: “For Bette Midler to sit back and say that West Virginia is poor, illiterate and strung out…now really and truly, Bette, I hope you hear me loud and clear because I’m a fair and honest person. Bette, it’s cruel and it’s really, really unfair.
You know, we’ve had a struggle just like anybody has has struggles, but just think about what we’ve done. In the last few years, we’ve become the diamond in the rough that everybody has missed. We have the four most beautiful seasons on the planet. Absolutely, we have the very best people and I would welcome you to come and see these people. These people really care.”
.@WVGovernor: "For Bette Midler to sit back and say that West Virginia 'is poor, illiterate, and strung out' […] Bette I hope you'll hear me loud and clear because I'm a fair and honest person, Bette it's cruel and it's really, really unfair." https://t.co/t1sk2VpReY pic.twitter.com/m9cTg69pPG
— The Hill (@thehill) December 23, 2021
Although Midler has issued a brief apology on her social media account, it seemed very insincere. “I apologize to the good people of West Virginia for my last outburst,” Midler said. “I’m just seeing red. Joe Manchin and his whole family are a criminal enterprise. Is he really the best West Virginia has to offer its own citizens? Surely there’s someone there who has the state’s interests at heart, not his own!”
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