tags: Press Releases

Three Key Questions for GOP Candidates Attending CPAC Texas with Viktor Orban

Share This:

Texas Candidates Mayra Flores and Cassy Garcia Set to Attend CPAC Alongside Christian Nationalist Orban and Leading GOP Purveyors of Conspiracy Theories

Washington, DC – CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, will convene in Dallas, TX later this week. Among the speakers are a who’s who of leading anti-immigrant figures, including Donald Trump, Greg Abbott, and right wing media talking heads. 

Also scheduled to speak is Viktor Orban, Hungary’s authoritarian prime minister. As Dana Milbank recently detailed in a Washington Post column, “A hero of the Trump right shows his true colors: Whites only,” Orban recently delivered a speech that was overt in its racism and embrace of “white replacement” conspiracies, stating, “This is why we have always fought: We are willing to mix with one another, but we do not want to become peoples of mixed-race” and calling immigration, “population replacement or inundation;” a speech a longtime Orban advisor resigned over, calling it “a pure Nazi speech worthy of Goebbels.” 

Orban will be far from the only attendee pushing “white replacement” conspiracies and lies. His remarks are eerily similar to the Republicans who will share the CPAC stage. Like Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), who claimed Democrats “want to change America, they want to replace the American electorate with third-world immigrants that are coming in illegally.”  Or Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who wrote that Tucker Carlson “is CORRECT about Replacement Theory as he explains what is happening to America.” And Steve Bannon who said, “It’s really an invasion. I call it the Camp of the Saints” – referencing the obscure replacement theory novel that has inspired generations of nativists around the world. 

CPAC Texas also will feature remarks from two Texas congressional candidates who are trying to portray themselves to their Hispanic constituents as moderate on, or even supportive of immigration and are therefore key targets of the America’s Voice bilingual, “Show Me Your Friends” campaign: Mayra Flores and Cassy Garcia. Watch an explainer video about the campaign HERE. Watch individual videos focused on each of the GOP candidates HERE.

Below, we present three key questions for Mayra Flores and Cassy Garcia, which also are relevant to the broader Republican Party and attendees/supporters at CPAC:

  • Question 1: Do you agree with the recent comments of Viktor Orban, and if not, why share a stage with him? Orban’s recent comments included, “we do not want to become peoples of mixed race” and calling immigration “population replacement or inundation.”
  • Question 2: Do you agree with your fellow CPAC Texas attendees who are spreading deadly conspiracies about a “migrant invasion” and ‘white replacement’? These conspiracies have inspired multiple terrorist atttacks, incuding in El Paso just three years ago this week. Based on research from the America’s Voice GOP ad tracking project, our recent report identified 546 pieces of Republican political messaging that use ‘white replacement’ and a ‘migrant invasion’ in the 2022 cycle alone, with Texas a particular hot spot. Do these candidates think the presence of immigrants – and specifically Hispanic immigrants – constitute an “invasion?”
  • Question 3: Texas is currently leading a lawsuit against the DACA program for Dreamers – what is your preferred policy toward Dreamers, especially if the Fifth Circuit rules in favor of Republicans in Texas and ends DACA? Republicans are seeking to strip DACA protections from Dreamers in the courts relying on the “anti-immigrant judicial pipeline,” but many GOP voices already are expressing opposition to a permanent legislative fix for Dreamers, including by citing the “secure the border first” excuse for perpetual inaction. This despite the incredible success and popularity of DACA and securing opportunities for Dreamers in this country, which tremendously benefits Texas and has been life changing for some Hispanic and immigrant families in the Lone Star State.

According to Mario Carrillo, Texas-Based Campaigns Director for America’s Voice:

“The presence at CPAC Texas of Viktor Orban and a slew of Republicans who have been spreading dangerous conspiracies and attacking Dreamers means that GOP candidates like Mayra Flores, Cassy Garcia and others planning to attend or speak should go on the record to detail their real beliefs. Orban’s recent comments lay bare the underlying motivations and beliefs underscoring the GOP’s ‘invasion’ and ‘replacement’ messaging and could lead to further violence against Texas and U.S. communities, but we fully expect the speakers and media coverage of CPAC Texas to amplify this dehumanizing rhetoric further.  

That same ugly vision and set of beliefs are also at the core of Republicans’ efforts to end DACA protections for Dreamers and block needed legislative solutions. How can candidates defend the anti-immigrant strategies and governing philosophy of the Republican Party with their Hispanic constituencies? Their silence signals approval. Down the line, candidates like Flores, Garcia, and fellow Republicans should detail where they stand.”