As President Trump met with governors from across the U.S. to tout his administration’s achievements, First Lady Melania Trump took the opportunity to discuss her ”Be Best” campaign to the governors’ spouses days after awarding right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh the Medal of Freedom.
At the Governors’ Spouses Luncheon at the White House on Monday, Melania asked the spouses of the nation’s governors to take part in preventing cyberassault and cyberbullying in their respective states.
Had a great afternoon hosting the Governors' Spouses' Luncheon at the @WhiteHouse today. We discussed the values of #BeBest and how they can be used to effect positive change in all states and communities across the country. pic.twitter.com/yqPENmKP9R
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) February 10, 2020
The first lady opened the lunch with an address to the spouses, saying, “I know the many issues associated with online safety will be hard to stop, but there is a need now more than ever to teach our children healthy behavior to secure a safer future for all of them.”
According to its website, Melania’s “Be Best” campaign champions “the many successful well-being programs that provide children with the tools and skills required for emotional, social, and physical health” as a way to cope with the unique difficulties of an increasingly digital world.
“I would like to take this time to ask that you [the governors’ spouses] and your spouses [the governors] consider addressing this issue in your own home states so that no family will have to suffer from a loss like the Smiths.”
The First Lady drew criticism earlier this month after bestowing the nation’s top civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Limbaugh, who has a long history of making racist and homophobic remarks. Past Medal of Freedom award recipients have included Mother Teresa, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and Frank Sinatra. Under Mr. Trump, the award has been bestowed on golfer Tiger Woods, supply-side economist Arthur Laffer and Edwin Meese III, who was a top aide to President Ronald Reagan.
Just this past week, the conservative radio host made headlines after he unleashed a homophobic rant attacking former mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Limbaugh drew bipartisan criticism for saying the country won’t elect Pete Buttigieg president because he’s been “kissing his husband” on stage after debates.
“It’s a miscalculation as to where the country is at,” said GOP Senator Lindsey Graham in response to Limbaugh’s remarks. “I think the country is not going to disqualify somebody because of their sexual orientation.”
Ohio Senator Rob Portman said of Limbaugh, “He may disagree, as I do, with their policy positions, but the question is what their qualifications are, not other issues.” Portman announced his support for gay marriage in 2013 as he revealed that his son Will is gay.
“There may be reasons not to vote for Mayor Buttigieg, but that’s not one of them. This is a tolerant country,” Senator Lamar Alexander, of Tennessee, said in a statement.
Limbaugh has used his platform for decades to denigrate the lives of LGBTQ people and advance harmful anti-LGBTQ policies, as noted by LGBTQ Nation.
In 1989, the radio host said that the best way to stop AIDS was “do not ask another man to bend over and make love at the exit point. That’s what you don’t do.”
In 2010, he claimed marriage equality activists “seek to impose their perverted views, their depraved views on family and marriage. Marriage is a union of a man and a woman… This is about destroying an institution.”
In 2014 he told listeners that straight people were the real marginalized group: “They’re under assault. You say, ‘Heterosexuality may be 95, 98 percent of the population.’ They’re under assault by the two to five percent that are homosexual.”
He has also claimed that there was a “movement on to normalize pedophilia” that was related to the movement for marriage equality.
Limbaugh recently attacked 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, suggesting people living with autism are “not well” and claiming Democrats “go out and they find disabled people.”
In July he described Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former President Barack Obama as not being truly black and has repeatedly peddled the racist Obama birther conspiracy.