Donald Trump paid tribute to conservative American radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, who died at the age of 70.
Key points: Limbaugh has become an enthusiastic fighter in America’s Culture Wars He has experienced a variety of medical issues over the years, including hearing loss He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Donald Trump last year
Limbaugh’s death came a year after announcing he had lung cancer.
A leading voice on the American political right since the 1980s, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Mr. Trump last year.
The former president called Fox News to thank Limbaugh for supporting his baseless campaign to overturn last year’s U.S. election results, saying he still believed he won the November election.
“Rush Limbaugh thought we won,” Mr. Trump said.
“And me too for that matter. I think we won substantially … You would have had riots everywhere if it happened to a Democrat. We don’t have the same support at certain levels of the Republican system.”
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Mr. Trump hailed Limbaugh as a “legend” with impeccable political instincts that “fought to the bitter end.”
Former President George W. Bush has said Limbaugh “speaks as a voice for millions of Americans.”
Pioneer of conservative talk radio
Limbaugh pioneered the American media phenomenon of conservative talk radio and became an enthusiastic fighter in the American Cultural Wars.
His appeal and the success of his top-notch radio show stemmed from his brash and colorful style, his joy in baiting Liberals and Democrats, and his promotion of Conservative and Republican causes and politicians.
His radio show became nationally unionized in 1988 and quickly attracted a large and engaged audience, making it rich in the process.
Former first lady Melania Trump presents Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh (Reuters: Tom Brenne)
Mr Trump, who pursued right-wing populism during his four years in the White House, awarded Limbaugh the highest American civilian honor during his State of the Union address in 2020 at a joint session of Congress.
Former First Lady Melania Trump placed the Medal of Freedom around his neck after her husband praised him as “a special man loved by millions of Americans” and “the greatest fighter and winner you will meet never”.
The honor came a day after the radio star announced her cancer diagnosis.
At the time, Limbaugh said he planned to continue with his program “as normally and as effectively” as he could while undergoing treatment.
Limbaugh espoused a staunchly populist brand of conservatism on a daily show that airs on more than 600 radio stations across the United States.
Long before Mr. Trump’s rise to politics, he pinned insulting names on his enemies and raged against the mainstream media, accusing them of fueling public lies. He called Democrats and others on the left “communists”, “pranksters”, “feminazis”, “liberal extremists” and other slurs.
Opposing left-wing causes, from global warming to healthcare reform, he has helped shape the Republican Party’s agenda in the media and mobilize his grassroots supporters.
When actor Michael J Fox, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, appeared in a Democratic campaign ad, Limbaugh laughed at his tremors. When a Washington homeless advocate committed suicide, he made jokes. As the AIDS epidemic raged in the 1980s, it made the dying a line of force. He called 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton a ‘dog’.
He suggested that the Democrats’ stance on reproductive rights would have led to the abortion of Jesus Christ. When a woman accused Duke University lacrosse players of rape, he called her a “ho” and when a Georgetown University law student supported extended contraceptive coverage, he called her a “ho”. rejected as a “bitch”. When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, Limbaugh said categorically, “I hope he fails.”
Limbaugh had experienced a variety of medical issues over the years, including hearing loss, reversed by a cochlear implant, as well as an addiction to prescription pain relievers that took him to rehab in 2003.
Reuters / ABC / AP
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