Trump and the old razzle dazzle

Former president Donald Trump’s appearance at a CNN Republican Town Hall in New Hampshire stretched the truth beyond any standard by which that virtue can be measured. 

Trump told more lies in one hour than many politicians tell in their entire careers. There are too many to list in a short column, but here are a few of the lowlights. 

Trump said he would end the war between Russia and Ukraine in “24 hours” if he again becomes president but didn’t say how. 

He said he finished the border wall and then contradicted himself. He called CNN host Kaitlan Collins “a nasty person,” then at the end told her she did a “good job.”  

Trump continues to promote the fiction that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him. Collins rebutted him each time, but it didn’t seem to matter to the mostly white and largely older Republican crowd. The few who had a chance asked mostly softball questions. 

Trump “swore on my children, which I’ve never done before” that he never knew E. Jean Carroll, the woman who just won a defamation and sexual battery civil suit against him and was awarded $5 million. He said he may have met her once along with her husband, who he noted is Black and a “nice guy.” He denied having any physical contact with her. 

Asked by Collins if he would accept the results of the 2024 election should he lose, Trump said it depends on whether the election is “fair,” meaning he gets to decide that and also whether to extend the fiction from 2020 for years to come. That sounds like the coin flip “heads I win, tails you lose.”  

Trump also said if he again wins the presidency he would be “inclined” to pardon most of those who broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6. He also claimed to have offered National Guard troops to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but said they rejected his offer. Trump’s own acting secretary of defense, Chris Miller, said in a deposition that the president never gave him a formal order to have 10,000 troops ready for deployment. 

Responding to Trump’s CNN appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s radio program, former Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) said: “I think he’s a coward, and I think he’s a puppet of Putin. … He wouldn’t say last night that Ukraine should win the war. … It was … the most stunning moment of the debate. If you won’t say that you think Ukraine should win the war, I don’t know where you stand with Putin. And to say that he could settle it in 24 hours is the same kind of bravado that we heard eight years ago when he said that he would build the wall across the entire border of Mexico and the United States and Mexico would pay for it. And we have a wall that’s about a fifth of what we need after his presidency, and Mexico hasn’t paid their first peso to us, yet.”  

Trump tried to explain without success his comments about women and when one is a “star” he can pretty much have his way with them. It was another embarrassing, even pathetic, moment. 

One of my favorite modern musicals is “Chicago.” In the film version, Richard Gere, who plays an attorney for women arrested for murdering their husbands or boyfriends, sings a song called “Razzle Dazzle.” Some of the lyrics seem to fit Donald Trump. 

“It’s all show business, kid  

These trials, the whole world, show business  

But, kid, you’re workin’ with a star, the biggest  

Give ‘em the old razzle dazzle  

Razzle dazzle ‘em  

Give ‘em an act with lots of flash in it  

And the reaction will be  

passionate … 

What if your hinges all are  


What if, in fact, you’re just  


…razzle dazzle ‘em, and they’ll make you a star!”  

What if, indeed? 

Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.