West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is under fire after saying on Wednesday that he would welcome any president to the state, except former President Barack Obama.
The unprompted comment came during a coronavirus news conference in which the Republican governor took a phone call from President Donald Trump and sought to highlight his relationship with the commander-in-chief ahead of the coming primary election.
“We should absolutely welcome all but, you know, maybe not Barack Obama,” he said, smiling.
Watch the video below.
WV Gov. Jim Justice during Wednesday’s press briefing:
“I want [Trump] to always know just how welcome he is in West Virginia. And any president, we should absolutely welcome all but, you know … maybe not Barack Obama. But nevertheless, we'll welcome any president." pic.twitter.com/e4Fjhktb0s
— Douglas Soule (@DouglasSoule) June 3, 2020
The governor’s comments sparked a furious backlash:
Jim Justice just said that Predator trump is always welcome to West Virginia, any President except Obama.
Governor of West Virginia just said that America’s first black President isn’t welcome in his state. Why do I feel like his message was directly for White Supremacists?
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) June 3, 2020
Jim Justice can go to hell!!!
How dare you say Barack Obama isn’t welcome in West Virginia?
You two bit thieving piece of white trash. Stealing from the taxpayers by not paying corporate taxes makes you a criminal!
— Wendy Cerne (@WendyCerne) June 3, 2020
Jim Justice just said every president would be welcome in West Virginia.. except Obama
Kindly get out of my state Jim, may I remind you that you ran as a Democrat you turncoat billionaire slob?
— lynx on stilts (@OxbowsBox) June 3, 2020
Governor Jim Justice of WV who said he would "Welcome any President…maybe not Barack Obama,” he said, smiling earlier today.
Get this racist, backward, flubber looking man out of office. WV election is this month. They deserve better.
He's CANCELLED, luvs. pic.twitter.com/YvxTyDKaLE
— PaulyD (@DesPAULcito) June 3, 2020
Despite how well I felt he handled the coronavirus in West Virginia, I can no longer support @WVGovernor Jim Justice. He had to take a moment and say @BarackObama Is the only president he would not welcome to West Virginia. Petty and childish. Fuckin be polite, Jim.
— Neal Vestal (@RealNealVestal) June 3, 2020
Join the conversation.