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 Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) February 5, 2020
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:
Last night, Rush Limbaugh was at the State of the Union.
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) February 5, 2020
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):
Rush Limbaugh's most infamous act was calling a young grad student a slut for testifying in favor of contraceptive coverage. A terrible diagnosis does not erase a lifetime of racism, homophobia and misogyny. A sick man deserves healthcare; a bigot does not a medal of honor. #SOTU
— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) February 5, 2020
When Rush Limbaugh receives your Medal of Freedom, you’re officially a sh*thole country.#VoteBlue
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) February 5, 2020
y’all mad. pic.twitter.com/SoADai92eO
— ��'�� �� �������������� �������� (@BecketAdams) February 5, 2020
Rush is nearly deaf. His implant doesn’t hold up well in crowds. He likely didn’t hear 90% of what was said and was trying to be gracious while not understanding it all. Not to mention how overwhelming the moment was in its own right. Also, he’s obviously sick. So… piss off. https://t.co/kXDJQFdgkl
— Jeremy Boreing (@JeremyDBoreing) February 5, 2020
Conservatives reacted much more warmly to Limbaugh’s moment, and to the address more generally:
Democrats had their showcase last night and President Trump had his tonight
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) February 5, 2020
This SOTU was great. Let's be real: Trump is great at SOTUs. If this were full time Trump, he'd win 55 percent of the vote. Which is why he should do this all the time instead of rage-tweeting about his opponents' height.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 5, 2020
Trump, a man who frequently annoys me despite my appreciation for his governance and accomplishments, a man who they just embarrassed themselves trying to impeach, just delivered a grand slam #SOTU, one of the best I've ever heard.
His 2020 victory is going to be great.
— Steve Skojec (@SteveSkojec) February 5, 2020
I am not generally a Trump fan, but haters should probably just admit this was a pretty great speech that most people would like and agree with… and Dems looked super petty. #SOTU
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) February 5, 2020
— Ryan Bomberger (@ryanbomberger) February 5, 2020
Lastly, much has been made of Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripping a copy of the speech in half just after the president concluded:
Nancy Pelosi rips up President Trump's speech… this is all they have… Tantrums. pic.twitter.com/gi3JP8lVWp
— Carpe Donktum�� (@CarpeDonktum) February 5, 2020
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.”