Mayor Michael Nutter recently said he’d like to ban Donald Trump from Philadelphia. But former state senator Milton Street is in talks now to bring Trump to Philly.
“If Mr. Trump is going to come in here and we’re going to set up businesses, and hire people in the community to stop violence in the community, then I’m going to support him,” Street said, who spoke to Trump at a recent public event and now wants Trump to visit Philly. “I’m not going to concern myself about the name of the candidate.”
Asked if Trump would achieve those goals, Street responded, “I don’t see why not, he’s a billionaire.”
Mayor Nutter recently went on a tear against Trump after an apparent anti-Muslim attack struck a Philadelphia mosque for his rhetoric that no more Muslims should be allowed into the U.S., calling him “dangerous” and “a cartoon clown” with a “message of hate” who should be banned from Philadelphia.
Related link: Donald Trump calls Mayor Nutter ‘low life’
But at a clambake held by the Philly Republican City Committee in August, Trump was the candidate who won an straw poll of the 200 attendees with 30 percent of the vote, the Northeast Times reported.
Joe DeFelice, executive director of the Philadelphia Republican Party, said the party has not endorsed Trump, but that he is galvanizing citizens across the political spectrum.
“I do think that Donald Trump is tapping into a frustration that people have,” he said. “I dont agree with everything Donald says, but I appreciate and respect the fact that he can say it. People may say he’s saying things that are not American, but censoring him is not American.”
Related link: Nutter bashes Trump after anti-Muslim attack on Philly
Al Taubenberger, a Republican recently elected as City Councilman-at-Large, said he thinks Trump’s comments bashing ethnic groups and mocking people who oppose or disagree with him will doom his campaign.
“He shoots from the hip. That’s great to some degree,” Taubenberger said. “But some things he says are out of line and inappropriate. … He’s not looking very presidential.”
No formal presence has been established by Donald Trump’s campaign in Philly. But he got support from 23 percent of Pennsylvania Republicans in an October Quinnipiac poll and continues to lead the race nationwide. Locally, he has supporters — but they are cagey about sharing that information publicly.
“Our country is in a lot of trouble right now, and I trust he’ll do something about it,” said a Center City lawyer who supports Trump but declined to give his name due to job concerns. “I don’t believe he has religious prejudice against Muslims. He is being treated unfairly. He’s just saying that they shouldn’t be let in unless you can prove beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that they’re not terrorists.”
Even some non-conservatives support Trump.
“I just want him to get in there so people will wake the f— up and say, ‘What is going on in this country?'” said Tim Rowe, 46, from Fairmount, who said he’s an independent who typically votes Democrat. “I don’t like him personally. I think he’s insane. But I want things to change.”