EXCLUSIVE — Radio legend Rush Limbaugh, who died last week at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer, will be honored at this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and inducted into the Conservative Hall of Fame, Fox News has learned.
Limbaugh will become the first individual to be enshrined in the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Hall of Fame. The National Rifle Association was the inaugural inductee back in 2018.
Limbaugh will also be honored with a video tribute celebrating his life and career that will be shown on Saturday night during the event’s prestigious Ronald Reagan Dinner. Longtime “Rush Limbaugh Show” producer Bo Snerdley is expected to be in attendance, according to a source.
American Conservative Union (ACU) chairman Matt Schlapp remembered being “glued” to Limbaugh’s 2009 CPAC speech, which inspired the conservative movement and is widely considered one of the most important moments of his iconic career.
Limbaugh, who rarely traveled to events and only spoke at one CPAC, offered an explanation of “who conservatives are” that caused the crowd to erupt with chants of “USA! USA!” Schlapp hoped Limbaugh would be able to return to speak at this year’s event, but health did not allow that to happen.
“The fact that that speech stands alone as this very important moment for CPAC and for conservativism is somehow appropriate,” Schlapp told Fox News.
“He told us what being a conservative is in his language that we got so used to. He told the country what motivates us, he captured [it] in that fly-over country, Midwestern language,” Schlapp added. “I think a lot of people watched it again over the course of the last several days since his passing.”
All the cable news networks took Limbaugh’s 2009 speech live, helping to put CPAC on the map outside of conservative circles. His remarks were considered a “Conservative State of the Union” and allowed liberal viewers who tuned in on mainstream media outlets to get a glimpse of the conservative movement.
“We love people. When we look out over the United States of America, when we are anywhere, when we see a group of people, such as this or anywhere, we see Americans,” Limbaugh told the crowd. “We see human beings. We don’t see groups. We don’t see victims. We don’t see people we want to exploit.
“What we see — what we see is potential. We do not look out across the country and see the average American, the person that makes this country work, we do not see that person with contempt. We don’t think that person doesn’t have what it takes. We believe that person can be the best he or she wants to be if certain things are just removed from their path like onerous taxes, regulations and too much government.”
“We want every American to be the best he or she chooses to be. We recognize that we are all individuals. We love and revere our founding documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence,” he continued. “We believe that the preamble to the Constitution contains an inarguable truth that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.”
CPAC 2021 begins on Thursday in Orlando, Florida. Complete streaming coverage is available on Fox Nation.
Fox Nation is also honoring Limbaugh’s life with an exclusive collection of streaming shows and specials called “Limbaugh’s Legacy”. To watch, visit Fox Nation and sign up today.