Feb 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden on Limbaugh Medal of Freedom: He doesn't understand American decency

Former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Joe Biden reacted at a CNN town hall on Wednesday evening about talk show host Rush Limbaugh receiving a Presidential Medal of Freedom at Tuesday's State of the Union, stating: "I don't think he understands the American code of decency and honor."

Why it matters: Biden received a Medal of Freedom — the highest civilian honor — from President Obama in 2017. Limbaugh accepted the award Tuesday, just one day after he announced he'd been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and will be seeking treatment.

What they're saying: Biden sent his best to Limbaugh regarding his diagnosis, but did not shy away from criticizing the radio personality's record.

  • "I mean this sincerely, that he's suffering from a terminal illness. So he has my empathy and sympathy no matter what his background is. But the idea that he [at] a State of the Union receives a medal that is of the highest honor that can be given to a civilian I find, quite frankly, driven more by trying to maintain your right-wing political credentials than it is anything else," Biden said.
  • "I mean, if you read some of the things that Rush has said about people, their backgrounds, their ethnicity, how he speaks to them ... I don't think he understands the American code of decency and honor," he added.

The big picture: Limbaugh has been one of the most influential conservative media personalities over the last three decades. His radio show often featured high-power guests, including President Trump.

Go deeper: Key takeaways from Trump's State of the Union address

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Trump presents Rush Limbaugh with Medal of Freedom at State of the Union

President Trump gave talk show host Rush Limbaugh a Presidential Medal of Freedom at the State of the Union on Tuesday, just hours after it was announced that he'd be a recipient.

Trump says he wants to award Rush Limbaugh with Presidential Medal of Freedom

Trump and Limbaugh at a Missouri rally in 2018. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to award conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom "as soon as next week," Politico reports.

Driving the news: Limbaugh, 69, announced on air Monday that he's been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and is seeking treatment. As one of the country's most influential conservative radio hosts over the past two decades, he has featured Trump on his show several times.

Biden rips Trump for kicking Vindman out of White House

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden criticized President Trump for firing former National Security Council adviser Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified against Trump during the House impeachment investigation, and giving conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh the nation's highest civilian honor during Tuesday's State of the Union.

What Biden is saying:  "Lieutenant Colonel Vindman got kicked out of the White House today. He should be pinning a medal on Vindman and not rush Limbaugh. I think we should all stand now and give Col. Vindman a show of support. Get up there...That's who we are. We are not what Trump is."