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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stands in front of a US flag after addressing a keynote speech during an extraordinary session of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Balna cultural centre of Budapest, Hungary on May 19, 2022. - The two-day CPAC meeting is being held in Europe for the first time. (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stands in front of a U.S. flag after addressing a keynote speech during a session of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Budapest, Hungary on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images)

CPAC Welcoming Orbán at Dallas Summit Days After 'Pure Nazi' Speech

"Orbán didn't speak into being a new project, he articulated one that's already unfolding," said one critic.

Julia Conley

With right-wing officials suggesting there is not yet enough evidence of Hungarian authoritarian Viktor Orbán's racist views despite his recent speech which has drawn comparisons to Nazi propaganda, the largest annual gathering of conservatives in the U.S. is moving forward with plans to host the prime minister next week.

"Let's listen to the man speak," Matt Schlapp, chair of the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), said Tuesday, ahead of the group's summit scheduled to take place in Dallas next week. "We'll see what he says."

"I don't know how you didn't notice that the speech you delivered is a purely Nazi diatribe worthy of Joseph Goebbels."

CPAC's welcoming of Orbán shows that his "racist speech [is] welcomed there," said MSNBC columnist Ruth Ben-Ghiat.

Speaking to supporters in Romania last weekend, Orbán said Hungarians "do not want to become a mixed race" and that countries where Europeans and non-Europeans live amongst each other are no longer nations. He added that a "flood" of migrants and asylum-seekers is being "forced" on Hungarians.

Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu called Orbán's comments "unacceptable" and the prime minister's long-time adviser, Zsuzsa Hegedus, announced her resignation from his government over what she called the "pure Nazi" speech.

"I don't know how you didn't notice that the speech you delivered is a purely Nazi diatribe worthy of Joseph Goebbels," Hegedus wrote in an op-ed directed at Orbán.

Right-wing leaders drew condemnation earlier this month when they invited Orbán to speak at CPAC in Dallas and in May when they held an auxiliary meeting of CPAC in Hungary. At that gathering, the Hungarian leader advised the Americans present to take control of the media in order to hold onto power.

Writer Zack Hunt said conservatives are still welcoming Orbán to CPAC "because" of his speech in Romania, not "despite" his comments.

With his recent speech, wrote Emily Tamkin at The New Statesman on Tuesday, Orbán described "the world European and American conservatives are trying to create":

The language of preserving the purity of white America, of protecting it from other, non-white people, permeates policy... Orbán’s speech isn't about the threat to any one law, or case, or policy. That his vision is wholeheartedly embraced by the American right isn't about that either. It's a threat to many. Or, rather, it’s not only a threat to policy, but to all those, everywhere, who do not wish to live in a society where full membership is dependent on race, or religion, or sexuality. Orbán didn't speak into being a new project, he articulated one that's already unfolding.

Orbán gave his speech in Romania "with apparently zero fear that his words would impact his participation at CPAC," said business consultant Jeff Kemp. "It's very possible that he said what he did because he reckoned that it might heighten audience anticipation for his CPAC appearance."

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