In a presidential election stop on Friday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump lamented the current conditions of Philadelphia and promised to bring about change in the city that houses his alumni, the University of Pennsylvania.
Trump, a 1968 Wharton graduate, spent the last two years of his college experience in the city.
“The guns on the street, they have to take them away from criminals, they know who they are. You have criminals who are carrying guns and beyond guns...they’re carrying bombs,” Trump on North Broad Street with black community leaders, according to NBC10.
He later reiterated his claims in with The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“I know the city so well, because I went to college here, but it’s very sad to see what’s going on inside Philadelphia,” he said. “It’s gotten so much worse than when I was going. It’s dangerous; the crime numbers are up. Your mayor is doing a terrible job.”
Trump said crime has risen sharply in Philadelphia, but suggest the exact opposite. The number of murders in the city, which approached nearly 500 in 1968, have fallen to 246 by 2013, according to the Philadelphia Police Department. Violent crime, which includes homicide, rape and aggravated assault is at its lowest rate since 1985.
Trump has trailed Clinton by wide margins among black voters in every recent poll.
“While pushing a hateful, divisive and dangerous agenda, his photo-op in Philadelphia today is nothing more than an offensive gimmick,” Clinton Pennsylvania State Director Corey Dukes said in a statement.
Trump spared his most vicious attacks for Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney, telling the assembled crowd, “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.”
Kenney did not mince words in his response to Trump.
“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.”
He continued, “Honestly, I’m more concerned not about what Donald Trump says, but about what Philadelphians say. 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.”
A recent YouGov poll, , shows Clinton with an eight-point-lead and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson polling 6 percent of the vote.
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.