The right-wing European leader hit guaranteed applause lines — including telling the Texas crowd that “Hungary is the Lone Star State of Europe” — and criticizing liberals, the news media and the Democratic Party.
Orban’s appeal to conservatives
Among the more controversial figures invited to speak at CPAC Texas is Orban, who has been embraced by elements of the American conservative movement in recent years.
The nationalist European leader has pushed forth restrictive immigration policies and clamped down on democratic institutions in Hungary while consolidating his own power.
In his Thursday afternoon address in Dallas, Orban argued that his nationalist agenda in Hungary aligns with the goals of the American conservative movement — sounding a lot like Trump.
“Progressive liberals didn’t want me to be here because they knew what I would tell you, because I am here to tell you that we should unite our forces,” Orban said.
While he largely stayed away from that sort of inflammatory rhetoric in Dallas, he did mock the criticism of him being racist and anti-Semitic. “A Christian politician cannot be racist,” Orban said.
Orban defended his 16-year tenure as prime minister, touting his hardline immigration policies and his calling his fight against democratic institutes part of a “culture war,” going after same-sex marriage and transgender rights.
Prompting the loudest standing ovation of his speech, Orban said: “To sum up: the mother is a woman, the father is a man, and leave our kids alone. Full stop, end of discussion.”
This headline and story have been updated with additional details.