Nutter: A 'Press'-ing engagement

Republican strategist Ed Gillespie (left) and Mayor Nutter talk on NBC's "Meet the Press" in Washington yesterday.
Republican strategist Ed Gillespie (left) and Mayor Nutter talk on NBC's "Meet the Press" in Washington yesterday.
Posted: November 29, 2010

MAYOR NUTTER hit the big time as a talking head yesterday with an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," during which he bantered about Washington politics, the state of the economy - and, of course, Philly sports.

Nutter sat on a panel with Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan and Republican strategist Ed Gillespie. During a discussion about President Obama's working relationships with Republicans, Nutter delivered his strongest words.

"President Obama almost re-invented bipartisanship," Nutter said. "Do we forget what happened during the economic recovery act? No House Republican voted for it. Only three Republican senators voted for it. Sen. [Mitch] McConnell has said his main mission in life now is to take President Obama out of office. That's bipartisanship? I don't think so."

Asked about new security measures at airports, Nutter avoided any direct criticism of the policies, noting that over the holiday weekend "everybody got to see Grandma."

And during a discussion about Obama's chances in 2012, Nutter defended the president, noting that he has higher approval ratings than other presidents at this point in their terms. Nutter also stressed that economic conditions were improving around the country.

"We're already starting to see signs of things moving in the right direction in Philadelphia, and if some of these commentators would actually get out every now and then, they'd see the same thing going on in cities all across America," Nutter said.

At the conclusion of the show, host David Gregory threw Nutter a softball, literally, with a question about the departure of Phillies first-base coach Davey Lopes to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He followed up by asking Nutter if city residents have embraced controversial Eagles quarterback, Michael Vick.

"They have," Nutter said. "Michael Vick is a great player. But he's also doing some off-field things that are demonstrating he's a great person. Philadelphia is a city of redemption and a city of second chances."

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