Democrats criticize Medal of Freedom for Limbaugh as 'slap in the face'

Numerous congressional Democrats criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Trump confirms 2018 US cyberattack on Russian troll farm Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott MORE Wednesday for awarding the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh during the State of the Union address the previous evening.

“There is no 'both sides' to this issue. Rush Limbaugh is a racist who uses his platform to inspire other racists,” Rep. Bobby RushBobby Lee RushFauci: Institutional racism playing role in disproportionate coronavirus impact on Black community Bobby Rush likens Chicago police union to KKK: 'Racist body of criminal lawlessness' Rep. Bobby Rush says Chicago officers lounged in his office as nearby stores were looted MORE (D-Ill.) tweeted. “Rewarding him with a #MedalOfFreedom is a slap in the face to every person who ACTUALLY deserved that honor.”

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“It’s disappointing President Trump presented Rush Limbaugh, someone who has dedicated their life to dividing this country, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and not Brigadier General and Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee,” tweeted Rep. Marcy KapturMarcia (Marcy) Carolyn KapturOvernight Defense: Army now willing to rename bases named after Confederates | Dems demand answers on 'unfathomable' nuke testing discussions | Pentagon confirms death of north African al Qaeda leader Top Democrats demand answers on Trump administration's 'unfathomable' consideration of nuclear testing Overnight Energy: Murkowski, Manchin unveil major energy bill | Lawmakers grill EPA chief over push to slash agency's budget | GOP lawmaker accuses Trump officials of 'playing politics' over Yucca Mountain MORE (D-Ohio), referencing a veteran of the African American fighter pilot unit who was also a guest at the address.

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Rep. Judy ChuJudy May ChuMinority caucuses call for quick action on police reform House Democrats press Treasury on debit cards used for coronavirus relief payments Democrats blast CDC report on minorities and COVID-19 MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted several incendiary quotes from Limbaugh, including his 2012 reference to Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute” for testifying in support of the Affordable Care Act’s birth control coverage mandate, as well as his false accusation that actor Michael J. Fox was “exaggerating the effects” of Parkinson’s disease for an ad in support of then-Senate candidate Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillTrump mocked for low attendance at rally Missouri county issues travel advisory for Lake of the Ozarks after Memorial Day parties Senate faces protracted floor fight over judges amid pandemic safety concerns MORE (D-Mo.).

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Rep. James Himes (D-Conn.) tweeted a compilation of similar quotes paired with audio of Trump’s recognition of Limbaugh, adding that he had “deep sympathy for anyone facing a life-and-death health issue, and wish Mr. Limbaugh a speedy recovery” after the radio host’s announcement earlier this week that he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.

Congressional Republicans defended the decision to award Limbaugh the medal, with Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott Trump says he'll sign order with 'road to citizenship' for DACA recipients Texas lawmakers ask HHS to set up field hospital, federal resources in the state MORE (R-Texas) calling him "a fierce freedom fighter and defender of the Constitution. He serves as an inspiration for the conservative movement and for Americans across the country" and House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseCheney clashes with Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks GOP-Trump fractures on masks open up MORE (R-La.) claiming on Fox News that Limbaugh "inspired millions of people, still does, to this day" and criticizing Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Justices rule Manhattan prosecutor, but not Congress, can have Trump tax records Supreme Court rulings reignite Trump oversight wars in Congress Pelosi on Baltimore's Columbus statue: 'If the community doesn't want the statue, the statue shouldn't be there' MORE (D-Calif.) for not standing to honor him.