Mitt Romney Slams Tucker Carlson Over Viktor Orbán Trip: 'Hungary, Model for America?'

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) took aim at Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Friday in a speech delivered to mark the anniversary of the passage of the U.S. constitution.

Romney spoke at Brigham Young University's Wheatley Institution in Utah to mark Constitution Day on September 17 and warned that constitutional "guardrails" are at risk.

Without mentioning Carlson by name, Romney criticized the Fox News personality for a recent trip to Hungary where he interviewed right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Romney said: "A prominent TV pundit traveled to Hungary to extol Viktor Orbán as a model for us to emulate."

"Orbán censors the media in his country, ignores the will of the people in elections, amasses wealth for himself and his cronies. Hungary is ranked as one of the least free, least democratic countries in the developed world," the senator said.

"Hungary, model for America?"

Orbán's government has been widely criticized for entrenching his political party, Fidesz, in the country's institutions and for undermining democracy and the free press in Hungary.

Carlson visited the Hungarian capital of Budapest in August and his prime time was broadcast from the country for a week. He also interviewed Orbán on Fox News and praised the prime minister.

Romney criticized what he saw as potential threats to the U.S. Constitution during his remarks on Friday, highlighting the deadly Capitol riot on January 6 that aimed to prevent the ratification of the 2020 presidential election.

The senator said: "Our resolve to follow the Constitution's path, avoiding the perils of authoritarianism on one hand and pure democracy on the other, is wavering.

"No more stunning evidence of this was the attempt to prevent the lawful and constitutional transfer of power on January 6," he said.

The Constitution forms the base of our democratic republic, a country that guarantees and safeguards the unalienable right of every person.

Enjoyed celebrating #ConstitutionDay at @BYU’s Wheatley Institution.

— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) September 18, 2021

"It followed from the President of the United States claiming that the election had been stolen from him. His purported evidence spun from pillar to post, from counterfeit ballots imported from China, to stuffed ballot boxes, to dead voters, to voting machines manipulated from afar."

Romney also said that the U.S. must defend democracy and liberty in the face of threats from authoritarianism in states like Russia and China, while also taking aim at Democrats seeking reforms.

He criticized calls to pack the Supreme Court and abolish the Senate filibuster - both issues that have emerged as major flashpoints for Democrats. Romney invoked the Founding Fathers and called on his audience to exercise what they had called "public virtues."

"The Founders gave us a Republic. As Benjamin Franklin said, it is up to us to keep it," Romney concluded.

Mitt Romney Seen During a Senate Recess
US Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) is seen during a recess of the impeachment trial proceedings of US President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill January 30, 2020, in Washington, DC. Romney has criticized Fox News' Tucker Carlson for a recent visit to Hungary. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images