He wore a similar dark suit, white shirt and plain tie, albeit orange rather than Trump’s trademark red. I have flashed the same thumbs-up as Trump as they posed for photographs.
But whatever welcome he gets from the CPAC audience in Dallas, the situation at home is showing cracks.
Orban has since said he is neither racist nor anti-Semitic but his talk of racial purity has set off alarm bells in his capital, Budapest, where Jews were persecuted and murdered in the Second World War.
Rabbi Robert Frolich of the city’s historic Dohany Street Synagogue said Orban’s words hit too close to home, most particularly for the older members of his congregation.
“Most of them are Holocaust survivors,” he told CNN. “They are worried. They have heard this before and it didn’t end well.”
His economic policies have won him support, but with inflation rising, that’s beginning to change, according to economist Zoltan Pogatsa.
“In the longer run, yes, I think Orban remains popular but at this particular point in time I think more people are skeptical about him than ever before,” he said.
In Budapest’s central market, opinions vary.
David Horvath, a juice seller, says: “To be honest, Viktor Orban is not even liked in our own country.”
But Margaretta Krajnik, a butcher, begs to differ. “Viktor Orban is doing everything for his people,” she says. “He loves his people from him.”
Here, it’s a split decision. In Dallas, the welcome by American conservatives may be more effusive.