During his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, President Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the country’s highest civilian honor — to famed conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who revealed on his show the day before that he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. The president’s honoring of Limbaugh, whose show has dominated talk radio ratings for decades, has been met with harsh criticism of Trump and smears of Limbaugh from the Left, including from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who himself received the Medal of Freedom.
Trump led into his announcement of Limbaugh’s recognition Tuesday by citing his recent dire diagnosis. “Almost every American family knows the pain when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness,” said the president. “Here tonight is a special man, someone beloved by millions of Americans who just received a Stage 4 advanced cancer diagnosis. This is not good news, but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet.”
“Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country,” Trump continued. “Rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our Nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and inspire, and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity, I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I will now ask the First Lady of the United States to please stand and present you with the honor. Rush, Kathryn, congratulations!”
Asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper Wednesday night about Limbaugh receiving the same award he was given by then-President Barack Obama in 2017, Biden turned to the audience at the New Hampshire town hall and mockingly made the sign of the cross as he shook his head.
The mocking gesture drew laughs and applause from the audience.
Biden then suggested that Limbaugh had made many racist statements in the past, but failed to give any specific examples, instead trailing off before redirecting to criticism of Trump, who he accused of self-servingly giving the award to Limbaugh simply to “maintain” his “right-wing political credentials.”
“Rush Limbaugh spent his entire time on the air dividing people, belittling people, talking about how, talking about blacks in ways, African Americans in ways that… Anyway,” said Biden.
As for Limbaugh’s cancer diagnosis, Biden offered his “empathy and sympathy,” referring to it as “terminal,” which, as The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra pointed out, is not confirmed.
“I do feel badly, and I mean this sincerely, that he is suffering from a terminal illness. So he has my empathy and sympathy no matter what his background is,” said Biden. “But the idea that he is, the State of the Union, receives a medal that is the highest honor that … is given to a civilian, I find, um … quite frankly, driven more by trying to maintain your right-wing political credentials than it is anything else.”
Biden then returned again to his claim that Limbaugh is racist, but again glaringly offered no specific evidence.
“I mean, if you read some of the things that Rush has said about people, their backgrounds, their ethnicity, how he speaks to them,” said Biden. “I don’t think he speaks … I don’t think he understands the American code of decency and honor.”
“But, look, this is Donald Trump,” Biden declared in conclusion, appearing to anticipate applause, but instead being met with a awkward silence before Cooper cut to commercial break.
Video below via CNN:
Biden attacks Rush Limbaugh as being a racist but can't think of any examples, loses thought
Biden falsely claims that Limbaugh's diagnosis was "terminal," not confirmed
At the end Biden takes a shot at Trump & stops for applause … & *no one* claps
CNN cuts to commercial pic.twitter.com/TW2UM3dfW4
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) February 6, 2020