Hungary's Orban echoes Trump's rhetoric

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Hungary's Orban echoes Trump's rhetoric

Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, is used to be pigeonholed as a pariah in Europe. In Texas before an audience of die hard supporters of Donald Trump, his spiel against progressives, immigrants and the media was warmly accepted.

Orban opened the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas on Thursday, and urged the right-wing Republican crowd to follow his example in Hungary. He struck a lot of the themes that most people would find in a typical Trump speech. The former president is taking center stage on Saturday.

The mother is a woman, the father is a man, and we leave our kids alone. Orban said that they were not interested in sexual orientation programs in schools without parental consent. He used to be known as gender ideology in a now-familiar stump speech.

He received a standing ovation for that. He joked about how he would be portrayed.

He said that he was already seeing tomorrow's headlines: Far-right, European racist, anti-Semite strongman, the Trojan Horse of Putin, holds a speech at a conservative conference. I don't want to give them any ideas. Orban, 59, has tightened his grip on Hungary and won his fourth consecutive term as prime minister despite being a constant thorn on the side of the European Union. He has successfully leveraged his power in Brussels by maintaining ties with Russia's Vladimir Putin and carving out exemptions on an Russian oil embargo.

He is a model for what Trump wants to achieve as he size up a comeback in 2024. Orban and Trump met on Tuesday at one of the former president's luxury golf resorts, where Trump lavished him with praise for his election victory in April.

There are similarities between the two men. The anti-immigrant Orban erected a border fence during a mass influx of migrants to Europe in 2015 and 2016 -- a precursor to Trump's wall along the border with Mexico.

Orban echoed Trump in calling for winning and being unafraid to challenge liberals such as Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros, an Orban critic.

It is not enough to know what you are fighting for. Orban said you have to know how to fight. My answer is to play by your own rules. That is music to the ears of Trump's most devoted followers who believe that the 2020 election was stolen from him. CPAC is a Trump-friendly crowd that doesn't buy the portrait that emerged from congressional hearings of an unhinged president who instigated an attack on Congress on January 6, 2021.

Thursday s event marks the second time CPAC has embraced Orban. In the White House in 2019 Trump hosted him while Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden shunned him.

Orban still holds the power to shock, and is not afraid to deploy it. He is also very similar to Trump.

Last month Orban vowed that Hungary would not become a mixed race country and railed against the threat of Islamic civilization to White Europeans.

That prompted the resignation of a Jewish aide and broad condemnation from other European Union leaders who called the remarks racist. Orban is a European leader who opposes gay marriage.

Orban is a great innovator in ways of undermining democracy, said Kim Lane Scheppele, professor of international affairs at Princeton University who has studied Orban closely for 30 years. That is why I am worried that the Republicans are paying so much attention. None A Very Dangerous Place to Be Pregnant Is Getting Even Scarier Whenever I'm Not A Very Dangerous Place To Be Pregnant