Former Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that President Donald Trump awarding conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom was more about maintaining his right-wing political base than anything else.
First lady Melania Trump placed the medal on Limbaugh during Trump’s State of the Union address in a surprise move on Tuesday, one day after Limbaugh publicly revealed he has advanced lung cancer.
“Rush Limbaugh will spend his entire time on the air dividing people, belittling people, talking about how, talking about blacks in ways, African Americans in ways that — anyway, I do feel badly, and 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,” Biden said.
“But the idea that he … receives a medal that is of the highest honor that can committed, 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.
Biden himself was awarded the Medal of Freedom by then-President Barack Obama in 2017. Biden served as Obama's vice president.
“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 speaks, I don't think he understands the American code of decency and honor,” Biden said.
“But, look, this is Donald Trump," Biden said.
Watch the moment: