Pundits, congressional Dems pan award for 'racist' Limbaugh: 'Why not give it to David Duke?'

Radio host Rush Limbaugh came under heavy fire from Democrats and media figures after President Trump honored him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during Tuesday's State of the Union address.

"It is a national disgrace that a birther, a racist, a misogynist is getting this award," Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin tweeted on Wednesday, going to compare Limbaugh to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Rubin was responding to actor Rob Reiner, who tweeted: "I loathe this f-----g man."

Limbaugh was honored one day after he shared the news that he had received a diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer.

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“This day has been one of the most difficult days in recent memory, for me, because I’ve known this moment was coming,” Limbaugh, 69, said on his show Monday. “I’m sure that you all know by now that I really don’t like talking about myself and I don’t like making things about me… one thing that I know, that has happened over the 31-plus years of this program is that there has been an incredible bond that had developed between all of you and me."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and others in her squad also sounded off on the decision to honor Limbaugh.

Ocasio-Cortez posted a video in which she claimed that Trump's decision violated "all sorts of norms" because he awarded a "virulent racist" and did so as part of the State of the Union address.

ROB REINER INSULTS RUSH LIMBAUGH AFTER DONALD TRUMP AWARDED RADIO HOST PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM

"Also him pretending to be surprised was such a joke," she said, referring to Limbaugh. "This has been news all day -- 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 [that] he had to like, you know, pretend that this was some kind of Oprah moment, was so disingenuous," she said.

"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 added that it was "truly nauseating" that Trump tried to assert that "Rush Limbaugh is somehow on the same level as Rosa Parks," she said of the civil rights icon, who received the award from President Bill Clinton in 1996.

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In a post retweeted by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., an activist described Limbaugh as a "racist and hateful white man."

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., retweeted a Vox article which dubbed Limbaugh "one of America's most prominent racists."

Fox News' Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.