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Hungary's Orban urges U.S. conservatives to join forces in 2024 elections

Politics Aug 05, 2022 07:31AM ET
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4/4 © Reuters. Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban speaks during the general session at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, U.S., August 4, 2022. REUTERS/Go Nakamura 2/4

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - U.S. and Hungarian conservatives must join forces in 2024 elections to "take back" institutions in Washington and Brussels from liberals who threaten western civilization, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday.

Orban, a Hungarian nationalist who was addressing a conservative gathering in Dallas, also said the United States needs a strong leader to negotiate a peace deal for Russia to end the war in Ukraine, Hungary's neighbor.

"Only a strong leader can negotiate peace," Orban said, speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a prominent U.S. political organization. "We need a strong America with a strong leader."

Orban didn't specifically refer to former U.S. President Donald Trump, who has hinted publicly that he will seek the presidency again in 2024. Trump has endorsed over 100 conservative candidates ahead of this year's mid-term U.S. elections.

But Orban and Trump had warm relations and the Hungarian leader endorsed Trump ahead of the 2020 U.S. vote. Before the CPAC conference, he wished Trump success in a video message.

As with Trump in the United States, Orban has been widely criticized in Europe. Leaders of the European Union, of which Hungary is a member, have said he has undermined democracy with measures that restrict immigration and give his government control over the media and non-governmental organizations.

Orban, who was re-elected for a fourth consecutive term in April, said the stakes are high for 2024. In addition to the U.S. election, Europeans will vote on European Parliament seats that year.

"These two locations will define the two fronts in the battle for western civilization," Orban said.

Calling himself "an old fashioned freedom fighter," Orban said Hungary and his government were "under the siege of progressive liberals."

He said progressives seek to separate western civilization from its Christian roots. His government's fierce anti-immigration stance, pro-family policies and rejection of gender ideology resist those efforts, he added.

"This war is a culture war," Orban said. "We have to revitalize our churches, our families, our universities and our community institutions."

In a speech last month, Orban said that in contrast to Western Europe, where locals mixed with non-European immigrants, Hungary was not a "mixed-race" country. His words drew condemnation from the United States, the European Union, Jewish groups and academics.

A few days later Orban backtracked, saying sometimes he said things in a way "that can be misunderstood."

He told CPAC that those who accused him or his government of racism were "idiots." He said his government had adopted a "zero tolerance" policy on racism and antisemitism.

"Accusing us is fake news," he added.

Hungary's Orban urges U.S. conservatives to join forces in 2024 elections
 

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Comments (7)
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 05, 2022 8:22AM ET
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"In a speech last month, Orban said that in contrast to Western Europe, where locals mixed with non-European immigrants, Hungary was not a "mixed-race" country."  -- Hungary has been invaded by like a dozen countries in the last 200 years, only in his fantasy that the current hungarian people is a pure race
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 05, 2022 8:22AM ET
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He fit right in with the shrinking reich-wing knuckle draggers at CPAC.
gab nea
gab nea Aug 05, 2022 8:09AM ET
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the radical republicans had to import a radical racist from eastern europe. what about all the racists in america, you couldn't find them lol, no mirrors?
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 05, 2022 8:09AM ET
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I know, whatever happened to America First?
Adrian White
Adrian White Aug 05, 2022 8:09AM ET
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Russia is a little preoccupied this time around, so the GOP went looking to a different foreign dictator for help this time.
Peter Andersen
Peter Andersen Aug 05, 2022 8:08AM ET
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Make him speak less one of putins friends for money what a fool
By designe
Series3bydesign Aug 05, 2022 7:41AM ET
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We need a independent America that does not tow the Russian narrative of authoritarianism like Orban does.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 05, 2022 7:41AM ET
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No kidding! What about that do Traitor Trump and his sycophants not understand? It's as if America First is some kind of camouflage for their real beliefs.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 04, 2022 9:15PM ET
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**** ***, Hungarian authoritarian dog. America does not take kindly to foreign interference in our elections, despite what your cuddle buddy Trump may have told you.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 04, 2022 9:13PM ET
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**** off, Hungarian authoritarian dog. America does not take kindly to foreign interference in our elections, despite what your cuddle buddy Trump may have told you
G D
G D Aug 04, 2022 6:17PM ET
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Well both sides love Russians
 
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