President Obama Honors Vice President Joe Biden

On Thursday, President Barack Obama bestowed the United States' highest civilian honor on Vice President Joe Biden. The award came as a surprise to Biden, who welled up as the president presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

"For your faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and for your lifetime of service that will endure through the generations, I'd like to ask the military aide to join us on stage," Obama said. "For my final time as president, I am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom."

The award came amid a speech honoring the vice president for his service over the past eight years. Obama commented on Biden's influence with respect to advancing progressive policies and spoke to his personal character. Anyone who "can't admire Joe Biden as a person," Obama said, has "a problem."

"He's as good a man as god ever created," the president declared.

Biden is perhaps best known for his work in recent years on improving cancer research and providing federal assistance to sexual assault victims. In January 2016, Obama announced the creation of a research initiative, led by Biden, that "aims to make more therapies available to more patients, while also improving our ability to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage."

Biden leaves office with just over a 50 percent favorability rating, up 10 points from five years ago, according to The Huffington Post.