CPAC Texas Welcoming Viktor Orbán Despite Outrage Over No-Mixed-Race Speech

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday criticized Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for a speech this month in which he expressed his opposition to Hungarians mixing with other races.

"All EU member states, including Hungary, signed up to common global values," von der Leyen told Slovakian news website aktuality.sk in response to a question about Orbán's remarks. "Discriminating on the basis of race is to trample on those values. The European Union is built on equality, tolerance, justice and fair play."

She added that common values mentioned in European and international treaties "are universal and not for sale. We all promised to uphold and protect them."

Von der Leyen Rips Orban Over ‘Mixed-Race’-speech
CPAC Texas is welcoming Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán despite outrage over his recent no-mixed-race speech. Above, Orbán speaks on Thursday in Vienna. Photo by Michael Gruber/Getty Images

Speaking about the role of central European countries, von der Leyen said: "While it is true that some people will always indulge in hostile rhetoric, society as a whole is much stronger."

Her remarks come after Orbán's controversial speech last weekend when he expressed his views on Hungarians mixing with other races.

"We move, we work elsewhere, we mix within Europe, but we don't want to be a mixed race," he said at the Baile Tusnad Summer University in Romania, adding that he is against the idea of a "multiethnic" group mixing with "non-Europeans."

More Criticism of Orbán

His speech was heavily criticized by Luxembourg and Finland, according to Politico. Orbán's ally and adviser Zsuzsanna Hegedus also condemned the speech and resigned in reaction to it, according to Bloomberg on Thursday.

"I don't know how you didn't notice that your speech you delivered is a purely Nazi diatribe worthy of Joseph Goebbels," Hegedus, said in a letter published by hvg.hu, adding that the "most vile racists" would find his remarks acceptable.

The Hungarian prime minister pushed back against the accusation, and said that his government has a "zero tolerance policy on anti-Semitism and racism."

Orbán also made controversial remarks in 2018 when he called refugees "Muslim invaders" after expressing his rejection to join the EU's resettlement program. In a separate incident that year, he said: "We must defend Hungary as it is now. We must state that we do not want to be diverse and do not want to be mixed: we do not want our own colour, traditions and national culture to be mixed with those of others."

The conservative prime minister also restricted the right to seek asylum and built up barriers on the Hungarian borders to keep migrants from Africa and the Middle East out, and targeted non-governmental organizations (NGO) that help migrants.

Trump, CPAC Praise Orbán

Orbán landed an endorsement for his April reelection from former President Donald Trump, who has called him "a great leader" and "a great gentleman" in May during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Budapest, according to Hungary Today.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has praised the Hungarian leader over his conservative views that align with Republican ideas. He previously said that he visited the Hungarian border and saw "order and clarity," and claimed that the country's border wall "works" in fighting illegal immigration. At one point, Carlson praised the Hungarian government saying that it offers "a lot of lessons for the rest of us."

Some Republicans found Orbán's conservatism appealing enough to invite him to attend CPAC Texas on August 4 in Dallas.

During an interview on Friday, MSNBC host Katie Phang asked Rachel Kleinfeld, a senior fellow at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, about the "state of American conservatism" given that Orbán will appear on the main stage at CPAC.

"There's a fight at the heart of American conservatism," Kleinfeld replied, "and this Trumpist faction—which has over 100 people who have won the primaries, which has a number of members of Congress—this Trumpist faction is really trying to emulate the strategy that Orbán used in Hungary to turn his country from a full democracy to a failing democracy. It's now been downgraded by Freedom House to being only a partial democracy. That's what they would like to see in America."

Newsweek reached out to the Hungarian foreign ministry for comment.