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Talk show host Rush Limbaugh was stunned to receive the Medal of Freedom at the State of the Union address.

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 5, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump’s annual State of the Union address won rave reviews from right-of-center observers for its tone and content, while left-wing reactions tended to center on one of the guests the president recognized, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s unusual action afterward.

Trump touched on a wide range of topics during the speech, from calling on Congress to ban late-term abortions to reiterating the administration’s commitment to conservative judges and religious liberty. But the most memorable moments involved the guests in attendance.

One of those guests was military wife Amy Williams and her two daughters, whom the president shocked and delighted by announcing the return of her husband, Sergeant First Class Townsend Williams, from deployment during the speech:

The other, more controversial moment came when the president recognized talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh, who announced Monday that he has been diagnosed with lung cancer. Trump caught the veteran pundit in a rare moment of genuine surprise when he announced and awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom on the spot:

Democrat, left-wing, and anti-Trump observers heaped scorn on the move (with more than a few confusing the Medal of Freedom, a civilian award for all manner of charitable ventures and cultural contributions, with the Medal of Honor, which is for gallantry in military service):

Conservatives reacted much more warmly to Limbaugh’s moment, and to the address more generally:

Lastly, much has been made of Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripping a copy of the speech in half just after the president concluded:

Pelosi reportedly defended the move Wednesday during a private meeting with fellow Democrats, declaring that Trump “shredded the truth, so I shredded his speech.” Republicans condemned the act as petty, while Jody Jones, a SOTU guest whose brother was murdered by an illegal immigrant in 2018, said it “felt like she ripped our hearts out.”

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