Donald Trump described former Mayor Michael Nutter’s job performance as “terrible” in a tweet last December, about a month before Nutter left office.
Trump apparently feels the exact same way about Mayor Jim Kenney, who succeeded Nutter in January.
In an interview with NBC10 on Friday afternoon, shortly after his meeting with 14 black business leaders at a church-affiliated hall in North Philadelphia, the Republican presidential nominee twice attacked Kenney for what he emphatically described as “a terrible job” as mayor.
The Wharton Business School graduate cited crime and education as two weak spots for Kenney.
“You look at the way, look, I’m in Philadelphia. I went to school here. I know the city very well. To see how far it’s gone down, the inner cities and the neighborhood where we’re in right now, I can’t even believe it. I mean, the fact is your mayor has done a terrible job,” he said. “Look at your crime statistics. Look at your education statistics. Your mayor has done a terrible job. I don’t the mayor, know not much about him. But the mayor of Philadelphia has done one terrible job.”
Trump did not go into detail about the city’s education and crime. In Kenney’s first eight months in office, his most prominent legislative victory has been pushing through a “soda tax” that will fund the city’s first universal pre-K system. He inherited a city with many neighborhoods still under siege from daily gun violence. Homicides in a calendar year, however, have not surpassed 300 since 2012.
Kenney responded, in part, by calling Trump a "nincompoop."
"Several words come to mind after reading the candidate's comments, but perhaps 'nincompoop' is the most family-friendly," Kenney said. "'Terrible job'? Coming from Donald Trump, I'll wear that as a badge of honor."
The mayor pointed out that violent crime is down 2.2 percent year over year and the city's unemployment rate decreased to 6.9 percent in June, the lowest it's been since June 2007.
"Those are actual facts: annoying little things to this candidate, who seems to live in his own odd version of reality. Honestly, I'm more concerned not about what Donald Trump says, but about what Philadelphians say," Kenney said. "And I'm sure they don't appreciate a candidate who has barely set foot in this city, who clearly fails to grasp the root causes of poverty, parachuting in and declaring that he understands their lives."