US media is reporting that Hungarian Prime Minister and National Conservative Viktor Orbán delivered his awaited speech last Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas. A POLITICO report characterized the speech as “an invitation for the American right”:
August 4, 2022— Viktor Orbán took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas with an invitation for the American right. “I’m here to tell you that we should unite our forces,” said Orbán, the Hungarian prime minister who has found himself increasingly alienated from democratic countries in Europe, as he has opposed immigration and liberal views on family and gender — and increasingly close with the MAGA-aligned American right. Touching on his signature issues, the far-right leader railed against immigration, globalism and gender fluidity as he declared that the “West is at war with itself,” describing an ideological “battle for Western civilization” he said would be fought in Washington and Brussels. “The globalists can all go to hell,” Orbán said to enthusiastic applause. “I have come to Texas.” One of the very first guests to speak during the three-day conference, Orbán’s speech at CPAC comes amid swift international blowback for the prime minister over his July 23 comments that Hungary must not become a “mixed-race” country, pointing to other nations in Europe with large immigrant populations. One of Orbán’s top aides resigned over his comments, saying his speech sounded as if it were given by a “Nazi.”
Read the rest here.
Watch the full speech here.
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is an annual political conference attended by conservative activists and elected officials across the United States and beyond. Other US media reported that the CPAC crowd cheered and gave the prime minister a standing ovation at the event. Shortly before the CPAC meeting, an Orban political aide published a simulated tweet from Donald Trump lavishing praise on Orban:
Great spending time with my friend Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary. We discussed many interesting topics– few people know as much about what is going on in the world today. We were also celebrating his great electoral victory in April.
Shortly after the election, the GIOR reported that Fox News star Tucker Carlson had continued his longstanding support and defense of Hungary and Viktor Orban. In a recent broadcast, Carlson attacked critics of Orban’s reelection by making a fatuous comparison with the recent controversy in the US over mail-in election ballots. In another broadcast, Carlson claimed Hungary was being criticized because the Hungarian government “consciously tries to serve the needs of its own people. The GIOR report also detailed how US national conservative Rod Dreher tried to link Orban’s victory to the increasing accusation in US rightwing circles that critics of anti-gay and anti-trans legislation are somehow sexually indoctrinating school children.
Orban has been becoming increasingly authoritarian over the years and was described by a US media report as “the Russian President’s closest friend inside the EU and NATO.” Time Magazine described how under Orban’s leadership, the Hungarian government has become strongly pro-Russian:
Despite a population that is adamantly pro-EU, Hungary’s government under Orban has strongly leaned toward the Kremlin. Whereas Orban’s international messaging emphasized Hungary’s neutrality, domestic state media has been parroting Putin’s justification for the invasion. Orban has refused to denounce Putin by name, but instead only opposes “war” in Ukraine. He has also refused to allow NATO weapons to be transported through his territory to Ukraine. Although Orban didn’t oppose E.U. sanctions on Russian kleptocrats or institutions, he has vowed to block any targeting of Russian oil or gas.
Orban, as well as Carlson and Dreher, have figured prominently in a new and developing alliance between US conservatives and European nationalists, a potential means for Russia to exert covert influence in Europe and the US, using Hungary as a platform. GIOR recently published a report on this alliance titled “The National Conservatism Alliance: An Opportunity for Russian Influence?” The GIOR report details the role that Viktor Orban and the Hungarian government have been playing in the National Conservatism Alliance.
The full report can be downloaded here.