Sen. JD Vance tries to spin past praise for Hungary’s authoritarian leader

During Sunday’s “Face the Nation,” Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance was asked about his praise for Donald Trump favorite Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s longtime authoritarian prime minister. Back in February, Vance lauded the Hungarian strongman for “successfully dealing with left-wing domination of universities,” saying it should be “the model for” conservatives in the U.S.

“What you’re seeing in the United States, actually, is that universities are controlled by left-wing foundations. They’re not controlled by the American taxpayer,” Vance told host Margaret Brennan, mimicking the baseless propaganda promoted by other mini fascists like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

When pressed on Orbán’s authoritarian record, which includes rewriting Hungary’s constitution to give himself and the state more power and less accountability, Vance tried to cherry pick his admiration. 

“I’m not endorsing every single thing that Viktor Orbán has ever done,” he said. “I don’t know everything he’s ever done. I do think that he’s made some smart decisions there that we could learn from [in] the United States.” 

Vance has a lot of practice equivocating for authoritarian leaders, as one of the craven Trump vice president hopefuls. Vance spent the past year carrying a lot of anti-Ukrainian water for Russia, likely making him Vladimir Putin’s top choice for vice president. 

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