Republican West Virginia Governor Jim Justice told actress Bette Midler to "kiss" his dog, Babydog’s "hiney."

Justice’s jab at Midler came at the end of his State of the State address, where he touted West Virginia’s wins and recently announced economic developments.

"Absolutely too many people doubted us. They never believed in West Virginia," Justice said in his remarks. "They never believed in West Virginia — that we could do it."


West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice holds Babydog, his English Bulldog, during his State of the State address, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, at the Capitol in Charleston, W.Va. (AP Photo/Leah Willingham) (AP Photo/Leah Willingham)

"They told every bad joke in the world about us," Justice continued. "And so from that standpoint, Babydog tells Bette Midler and all those out there: kiss her hiney!"

Applause and laughter erupted after Justice’s roast of Midler, who kicked the Mountain State’s online hornet’s nest in December of last year.

West Virginia House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, a Republican, said in a statement that he had been "hoping for some time" the Mountain State would take the national spotlight for their growing economy.

"I have been hoping for some time that West Virginia would gain national attention for our newly celebrated efforts to create, grow and champion a new and diverse 21st Century economy in the Mountain State," Hanshaw said.

"I plan to continue doing the work that leads to large capital investments, creating countless new careers here in our state, and I continue to hope the spotlight will find us for the right reasons," he continued.

Midler had called West Virginia "poor, illiterate and strung out" in a tweet targeting Democrat Senator Joe Manchin over not supporting President Biden’s Build Back Better bill.

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0156 -- Pictured: Musical guest Bette Midler performs on November 5, 2014 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC)

Bette Midler said she believes Donald Trump inspired more women to take charge of their own careers. (Getty)

"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," Midler tweeted. "He sold us out. He wants us all to be just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate and strung out."


Backlash for the tweet was swift online, with the formerly prominent actress apologizing soon after for her tweet.

"I apologize to the good people of WVA for my last outburst," she wrote online. "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!" 

Fox News’ Nate Day contributed reporting.