It was less than a week ago that iconic conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh announced he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and that it was unclear how much longer he would be able to do his daily show, much less even be alive.
The terrible news resounded among conservatives and the right in general, and led to President Donald Trump extending an invitation for Limbaugh, an old friend, to join him as a distinguished guest at the State of the Union address in Congress on Tuesday.
During the address, the president awarded the influential radio host the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was draped around his neck by first lady Melania Trump right there in the gallery in the middle of the president’s speech.
After the event had concluded, a reporter for TMZ caught up with Limbaugh and his wife Kathryn and asked him how he felt about receiving the award.
“How do I feel about getting the medal? I’m in a state of disbelief,” Limbaugh said. “I’m honored as I can be by it.”
The reporter said it was good to see him doing well, and Limbaugh replied, “Thank you. I am doing great. Who could not be doing great on a night like this? This is just…”
Asked if what had happened had been everything he’d thought, the popular host exclaimed, “Oh! I didn’t think. That’s the thing, I think this is — I’m still in a state of disbelief about it, man.”
“But I’m accepting it,” he added. “I’ll take it!”
Limbaugh came across as exhilarated and revitalized in that video as he left the State of the Union address, which stood in stark contrast to how he appeared when he first arrived prior to the speech, in a wheelchair and looking a bit apprehensive.
Fox News reporter Chad Pergram caught up with Limbaugh upon his arrival and asked how he was doing and what he expected to hear from the president that evening.
Limbaugh admitted that he was “still in awe” about what was happening and that he had no idea what Trump would say, though he added, “Whatever he says is going to be fine, I’m sure.”
Rush Limbaugh arrives at the Capitol for State of the Union pic.twitter.com/NCr88Vc7W1
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) February 5, 2020
During the speech, Trump said, “Here tonight is a special man, 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.”
“And, Rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and that you 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.”
This was but one of several incredible moments in what was arguably one of the best State of the Union addresses ever, and the honor bestowed upon Limbaugh was nothing short of well-deserved, given the integral role he has played in educating Americans for decades about conservatism and liberalism and why the former is vastly superior to the latter.
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