Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter blasted Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, calling him an "a--hole," and compared Trump's words to Hitler's during an afternoon press conference Tuesday afternoon.
"He's an a--hole," Nutter said while in front of religious leaders. "I apologize reverends, people of the religious community, I apologize. How can I take seriously any foreign policy idea from someone like him? It's impossible. He has no idea what he's talking about."
Trump on Monday proposed blocking Muslims from entering the U.S. "until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses." His suggestion was quickly condemned by other Republican and Democratic presidential candidates.
Trump's proposal came the same day a manager at a Philadelphia mosque discovered a bloody pig's head that someone had thrown at the building. During the Tuesday afternoon press conference, Nutter condemned the incident, calling on Philadelphians to show tolerance toward the Muslim community. He then turned his criticism toward Trump.
"Donald Trump's comments are a threat to the moral security of the United States of America," Nutter said. "It engenders a level of fear mongering that we have not seen literally since the 1930s and 1940s. He has taken a page from the playbook of Hitler, demonize a group, blame that group for a country’s problems and then seek to ban or eliminate that group as some kind of solution to a problem that does not exist. This is in fact a very dangerous form of American radicalization."
Nutter didn't back down when asked whether it was unfair to compare Trump to Hitler.
"No," he said. "This is the same tactic and strategy. Find an enemy, convince people they're the enemy, blame every problem on them and then try to get rid of them."
Nutter said he was also concerned for those who support Trump's comments.
"Donald Trump is literally trying to radicalize our fellow Americans against our American Muslim and international Muslim brothers and sisters," he said.
Prior to the press conference, Nutter called Trump's proposal "ignorant." He also said if he had the power he'd ban Trump from the city, stating Philadelphia doesn't have, "any room for that kind of stupidity."