He's intelligent and earnest, but as a rhetoritician Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter usually can be counted on to anesthetize an audience.
Not Thursday. Down in Washington, with other leaders of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Nutter called the House Republicans' proposed $61 billion in federal spending cuts "literally un-American." The cuts were contained in a resolution, which passed the House last week, to continue funding for the government in the current fiscal year.
"It attacks senior citizens; it attacks children; it attacks working people; it stops jobs and economic development in cities all across the United States of America," Nutter said, according to 2chambers, the Washington Post's blog on Congress.
"I have no idea what is going on in the minds of some who have now gotten elected on rhetoric and are trying to govern with that same rhetoric. You cannot run a country while attacking its own people," Nutter said.
The mayors were especially angered at the 62.5 percent cut in the Community Development Block Grant program, important to cities. President Obama has proposed a 7.5-percent cut in the program in the fiscal-year 2012 budget, saying it is hard to measure results.
Nutter did not want to attack the president, however. The GOP cuts would take effect right away if enacted, and arguments with the White House would have to wait for another day and another venue.
"When you have a bazooka pointed at your head, it is hard to think about what you will have for breakfast tomorrow,” Nutter said, as reported in The Hill.