American Conservative Union chair and Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) organizer Matt Schlapp on Tuesday didn’t blink at a deranged rant from far-right Hungarian Prime Minister and CPAC speaker Viktor Orbán about different races mixing together.
During the America First Policy Institute summit, Schlapp dismissed the notion of disinviting Orbán from CPAC, even after the Hungarian leader declared in a speech on Saturday that Hungarians “do not want to become peoples of mixed-race.”
It didn’t stop there; as he was arguing that countries with European and non-Europeans living together are “no longer nations,” Orbán directly cited and endorsed “The Camp of the Saints,” an infamous French book on mass migration that serves as a staple of white nationalist propaganda.
None of this, however, was a concern for Schlapp.
“Let’s listen to the man speak,” Schlapp said on Tuesday, per Bloomberg. “We’ll see what he says.”
“And if people have a disagreement with something he says, they should raise it,” he added.
Schlapp’s nonchalant response to Orbán openly peddling “great replacement” talking points showed him to be more tolerant of the racist tirade than the prime minister’s own inner circle: Zsuzsa Hegedüs, one of Orbán’s longtime advisers, resigned on Tuesday over the speech, which she called “pure Nazi text” that was “worthy of Goebbels.”
“That you are able to deliver an openly racist speech would not occur to me even in a nightmare,” Hegedüs wrote in her resignation letter.
U.S. conservatives have been playing patty-cake with Orbán for a while now, even as the Hungarian leader spearheads a backsliding of democracy in his country: Orbán spoke at a special CPAC session in Hungary in May, and Fox New host Tucker Carlson has cozied up with the far-right leader on his program.
In fact, GOP leaders have been embracing the “great replacement” theory increasingly broadly in recent months, making it more mainstream as the party lurches further to the right post-Trump presidency.