Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, ripping the president for his “Oprah moment” of awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to conservative talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh, who she described as a “virulent racist.”
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez boycotted the president’s speech but responded to it in a 30-minute Instagram Live video, in which she claimed Mr. Limbaugh was beneath the award and questioned the authenticity of his reaction when he received the award in the middle of the address.
“Him pretending to be surprised was such a joke that this has been news all day,” the New York Democrat said, according to a clip highlighted by The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra. “There have been multiple reports from multiple news outlets saying that Rush Limbaugh was going to receive the Medal of Freedom, and then Trump announced it and he had to like pretend that this was some kind of Oprah moment — was so disingenuous.
“And to do that and to give it to Rush Limbaugh when there were plenty of people in that audience that have contributed positively to the fabric of American society, much more frankly, than he has,” she continued. “But it’s red meat to his base — Trump knows what he is doing and he wants to assert that Rush Limbaugh is somehow on the same level as Rosa Parks. It’s truly nauseating, and this is one of the many reasons why I did not go.”
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez claimed that Mr. Limbaugh is a “violent racist” who is undeserving of such an “extraordinarily sacred award.”
“And to do it in the middle of a State of the Union and not even dignify it with its own ceremony as it has, there’s all sorts of norms that are being violated, not just for people’s humanity, but also it truly just cheapens the value of it,” she said.
Mr. Limbaugh, who recently announced he is suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer, was visibly shocked when Mr. Trump awarded him the Medal of Freedom during Tuesday’s address. First lady Melania Trump presented the medal to Mr. Limbaugh and placed it around his neck.
“Rush Limbaugh, thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country,” the president said.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t the only person to criticize the moment and accuse Mr. Limbaugh of racism. CNN’s Jim Acosta came under fire for claiming the radio titan “has a history of making derogatory comments about African Americans.”
James Golden, the radio personality known as “Bo Snerdley,” who has worked as a producer on Mr. Limbaugh’s show for decades, and who is also black, slammed Mr. Acosta for the assertion.
“I just saw the footage from CNN’s Jim Acosta saying Rush has a ‘history’ of saying disparaging things about African Americans,” he wrote. “I have been in the studio with Rush for 30 years. I would like to formally challenge CNN and @Acosta to provide the list.”
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