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Biden: Trump awarding Limbaugh Medal of Freedom was move to maintain 'right-wing credentials'

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE for awarding conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday, saying it was a move to maintain Trump's "right-wing political credentials."

"The idea that he is at the State of the Union [and] 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 told CNN's Anderson Cooper at a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire. 

"If you read some of the things 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 continued. "But look, this is Donald Trump."  

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Trump broke with tradition at Tuesday's State of the Union, awarding Limbaugh with the Medal of Freedom. 

"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,” Trump said. 

The award was met with cheers from Republicans, while Democrats remained seated, and later slammed the decision to award Limbaugh with the highest civilian honor. 

The move came days after Limbaugh announced he was battling stage 4 lung cancer. 

Biden jokingly made the sign of the cross when asked what he thought about Trump's decision, but offered his sympathy amid Limbaugh's cancer diagnoses. 

 "I do feel badly, and I mean this sincerely that he is suffering from a terminal illness," Biden said. "So he has my empathy and my sympathy no matter what is background is."