Orban has a long history of expressing such disdain, and his antagonism—toward immigrants, the news media, democratic norms and “wokeness”—has generally helped cement his favored status with American conservatives, who often give him a wide-reaching platform. that has given his profile a boost. Among them is Tucker Carlson, the Fox News commentator, who traveled to Hungary for an article about the Prime Minister. In May, CPAC organized a conference there.
Mr Orban, 59, spoke in Baile Tusnad in Romania, a predominantly ethnic Hungarian city, in July when he attacked countries in Europe with large numbers of immigrants, contrasting his tough policy against open borders.
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“These countries are no longer nations: they are nothing more than a conglomerate of peoples,” Mr Orban said, according to a translation from The Associated Press.
He spoke of a divided Europe where immigrants are changing the character of ‘our world’.
“We are willing to get along, but we don’t want to become people of mixed race,” Mr Orban said. “Migration has split Europe in half – or I could say it has split the West in half.”
Criticism of Mr Orban’s comments came quickly.
Zsuzsa Hegedus, a close confidant of Mr Orban, wrote in a July 26 resignation letter published in the Hungarian news media that even the most “bloodthirsty racist” could not approve of Mr Orban’s rhetoric. She compared Mr. Orban’s message to themes used by the Nazis in Germany, including Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief.
“I can’t believe you didn’t notice that you were presenting a pure Nazi text worthy of Goebbels,” she wrote.
Deborah E. Lipstadt, the US special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, echoed Ms Hegedus at her official address a day later. Twitter accountwho called Mr Orban’s assessment alarming.
“Almost 75 years after the end of the Holocaust, it is unforgivable for a leader to highlight the Nazi massacre, especially when he claims that anti-Semitism tolerates zero,” wrote Ms Lipstadt.
Leaders of CPAC, an influential right-wing group best known for hosting prominent Republicans and aspiring presidential candidates at its regular conferences, have resisted calls to discourage Mr. Orban. Alex Pfeiffer, a spokesperson for CPAC, defended Mr Orban’s presence at the meeting, saying in a statement that the group supports “the open exchange of ideas.” He called Mr Orban a “popular leader in his fourth consecutive term in office.”
Matt Schlapp, the CPAC chairman, recently told Bloomberg, “Let’s listen to the man who speaks.”
Orban’s final audience with leaders of the political right in America comes as Republicans gird themselves for the midterm elections, in which they hope to take control of the Senate and House. Republicans so far have nominated a string of candidates who have challenged the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election and could influence the outcome of the next.
Pointing out that he won free and fair elections to justify what he calls ‘illiberal democracy’, Mr Orban has also used the power of his office to shape the contours of elections more to his liking.
On Tuesday, mr. Trump welcomed Mr. Orban to his golf resort in Bedminster, NJ, where the two posed for photos. It was a daring reunion between the former US president and Mr. Orban, who Mr. Bannon, a former top adviser to Trump, once called “Trump before Trump.”