Bette Midler Apologizes After Calling West Virginians, ‘Poor, Illiterate, And Strung Out’

Bette Midler has issued an apology to the state of West Virginia after an inflammatory tweet sparked outrage across the internet. 

The comedian was reacting with frustration to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) saying on Sunday that he would not support President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better spending package, effectively slaughtering it. But her choice of words has incensed fans and critics alike.

“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. He sold us out,” Midler tweeted on Monday.

“He wants us all to be just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate and strung out,” she continued.

Midler isn’t known for subtlety, especially when it comes to political issues, but this tweet was seen as a personal attack by an out-of-touch elite who doesn’t understand the world outside her echo chamber.

“This is exactly what they think of good hardworking Americans that live outside of their elite bulls*** NY/LA bubbles,” Donald Trump Jr. replied. “They hate that a Democrat would actually represent his constituents rather than follow blindly the insane and radical plans of lunatic DC Dems!”

The backlash became so intense that Midler came out with an apology to West Virginians, blaming her “outburst” on passion for the topic at hand.

“I apologize to the good people of WVA for my last outburst,” the singer shared to her Twitter page. “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!”

But her comments had already done the damage. Followers pointed out that the apology lacked sincerity. 

Midler became an outspoken critic of the Republican party during Donald Trump’s presidency, leaving some to classify the Golden Globe winner of suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. And her tweets prove that politics makes Midler especially hostile.

The actress isn’t the only person who had a strong reaction to Manchin’s vote. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) immediately implied that Manchin was a coward for not having the “guts” to stand up to special interests and lobbyists. 

But White House press secretary Jen Psaki had an even more strongly worded response. It read:

Just as Senator Manchin reversed his position on Build Back Better this morning, we will continue to press him to see if he will reverse his position yet again, to honor his prior commitments and be true to his word.

In the meantime, Senator Manchin will have to explain to those families paying $1,000 a month for insulin why they need to keep paying that, instead of $35 for that vital medicine,” Psaki continued. “He will have to explain to the nearly two million women who would get the affordable day care they need to return to work why he opposes a plan to get them the help they need. Maybe Senator Manchin can explain to the millions of children who have been lifted out of poverty, in part due to the Child Tax Credit, why he wants to end a program that is helping achieve this milestone—we cannot.

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