Former President Donald Trump on Sunday paid tribute to the late radio legend Rush Limbaugh, who was long considered the voice of the conservative movement and who was one of the first high-profile right-wing media personalities to back Trump’s 2016 presidential run.
Trump made his comments during his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Limbaugh died of lung cancer, his wife Kathryn announced on his radio show earlier this month.
“I also want to pay my love and respect to the great Rush Limbaugh, who is watching closely and smiling down on us,” Trump said at the opening of his speech. “He’s watching and he’s loving it and he loves Kathryn. Kathryn, thank you for being here… He loved you, Kathryn, I will tell you that.”
“I want to thank Rush and Kathryn because what he did to get the word out has been incredible. Some people are irreplaceable, as Sean Hannity would say,” Trump added later in his address. “And he said Rush is irreplaceable. But his spirit lives on and that’s something that we need and we love.”
Limbaugh was first diagnosed with cancer in early 2020. Shortly thereafter, he was Trump’s guest at his final State of the Union address, where the president awarded Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Limbaugh was seated in the section of the House chamber reserved for the president’s family during the State of the Union, and former first lady Melania Trump presented him with the medal.
After Limbaugh died, Trump called into Fox News’ “America Reports” to discuss his relationship with Limbaugh. That was the first time Trump made comments to the press after leaving office.
Trump also called into Fox News to discuss the car crash of his friend Tiger Woods in recent days. But Trump’s address to CPAC is his first in-person speech since leaving the White House.
CPAC began on Thursday and concludes Sunday with Trump’s speech.
During his speech, Trump also railed against President Joe Biden on immigration and school reopenings, hinted that he might run for president in 2024, and repeated his false claims that he won the 2020 presidential election.
Trump also reprised the viral moment from a previous CPAC appearance when he hugged an American flag that was on the stage. On Sunday, Trump hugged an American flag when he walked out to deliver his address.
Fox Nation is a sponsor of CPAC.
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