Hungarian autocrat Orbán urges U.S. conservatives to follow his illiberal path


DALLAS (AP) — Hungary’s autocratic Prime Minister Viktor Orbán urged cheering American conservatives on Thursday to “take back the institutions,” stick to hardline stances on gay rights and immigration and fight for the next U.S. presidential election as a pivotal moment for their beliefs.

The exuberant cheers and standing ovations at the Conservative Political Action Conference for the far-right prime minister, who has been criticized for undermining his own country’s democratic institutions, demonstrated the growing embrace between Orbán and Republicans in the U.S.

He mocked the media in this country and in Europe. And in a speech he titled “How We Fight,” Orbán told the crowd gathered in a Dallas convention ballroom to focus now on the 2024 election, saying they had “two years to get ready,” though he endorsed no candidate or party.

“Victory will never be found by taking the path of least resistance,” he said during one of the keynote slots of the three-day CPAC event. “We must take back the institutions in Washington and Brussels. We must find friends and allies in one another.”

Referring to liberals, he said: “They hate me and slander me and my country, as they hate you and slander you for the America you stand for.”

His entrance drew a bigger welcome than the governor of Texas, Republican Greg Abbott, received moments earlier on the same stage. From there, the cheers continued as Orbán weaved through attacks on LGBTQ rights, boasted about reducing abortions in Hungary and celebrated hardline immigration measures back home.

‘Victory will never be found by taking the path of least resistance. We must take back the institutions in Washington and Brussels. We must find friends and allies in one another.’


— Viktor Orbán

Other speakers will include former President Donald Trump — who met with Orbán earlier this week and will address the gathering on Saturday — Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Republican candidates fresh off GOP primary election victories Tuesday.

Orbán’s visit to the U.S. came amid backlash back home and in Europe over anti-migrant remarks in which he railed against Europe becoming a “mixed race” society.

One of his closest associates compared his comments to Nazi rhetoric and resigned in protest. Orbán told the crowd in Texas the media would portray him as a racist strongman and dismissed those who would call his government racist as “idiots.”

His invitation to CPAC reflects conservatives’ growing embrace of the Hungarian leader whose country has a single-party government. Orbán also is considered the closest ally in the European Union to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Thursday that…



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