Michael Nutter’s top 5 insults of 2015: From ‘little jerk’ to Donald Trump

Philadelphia’s mayor takes pride in his boldness — and in fact, in his last year in office, he might’ve been more prone to outbursts than usual.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter addresses reporters in Philadelphia the day after a severed pig's head was found at Germantown mosque.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter addresses reporters in Philadelphia the day after a severed pig's head was found at Germantown mosque.


As we wrote in a profile of Mayor Michael Nutter from earlier this year, he is not afraid to curse. He insults political enemies. He calls out the media. He stands up for his ideas with a lot of boldness — or as mayor-elect Jim Kenney might say, by being “a fucking dickhead.” 

Nutter’s last year in office was no different. In fact, he might’ve been more prone to outbursts than usual in 2015. These are the best Nutter insults and outbursts of 2015.

On Ori Feibush: “The little jerk with the big checkbook”

Young Involved Philly held a phone bank to try to increase young voter turnout in 2014.
Anna Orso

In January, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson held one of his first political rallies of the 2015 election season. He got support from notable political leaders like Ed Rendell, Bob Brady and Darrell Clarke. They all piled on Feibush, just not as aggressively as Nutter. Now, to be fair, Feibush had insulted Nutter before. In an interview with Philly Mag, he once said Nutter should have been Barack Obama’s “chief retard” and that he looked like Shredder from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

On Amtrak 188 engineer Brandon Bostian: “You’d almost have to be an idiot to do that.”

Nutter made several remarks at press conferences and on cable news after Amtrak 188 crashed in May, killing seven and injuring more than 200. On CNN, he directed a little anger toward Bostian, saying There’s no way in the world a regional train should be doing 106 on a curve and one that is rated at 50 miles an hour. So, clearly, he was reckless and irresponsible in his actions. I don’t know what was going on with him. I don’t know what was going on in the cab. But there’s really no excuse that could be offered, literally, unless he had a heart attack.

He added, “”But, again, I mean, I mean, you almost have to be an idiot to — even if you are trying to make up time, to be doing 106 on a curve, as opposed to maybe on a straightaway.”

The National Transportation Safety Board, which has been investigating the cause of the crash, wasn’t too pleased with the mayor. Its board member Robert Sumwalt went on CNN directly after Nutter and said, ““You’re not going to hear the NTSB making comments like that. We want to get the facts before we start making judgments.”

Nutter came out with an apology of sorts later on CNN and threw a little shade at New York in the process. “I was being expressive,” he said. “I know the people in New York don’t speak in an expressive fashion. But we do here in Philadelphia. I express an opinion as the Mayor and as a citizen.”

On Billy Penn reporting the dimensions of the traffic box before the city announced them: “Little people”

Billy Penn came out with a pope map the morning of July 27. It almost completely resembled what would become the traffic box and the security screening dimensions for the pope’s visit. Nutter called a press conference later in the day, castigating maps that had been circulated (Plan Philly had come out with this one) without actually being specific or saying any of them were not correct. The money quote was, “At times, little people who have little pieces of information will try to put out what they have, what they think they have, in an effort to make themselves larger than they might be.” As we’d later find out, it wouldn’t be the last time Nutter got angry pertaining to the pope’s visit.  

On the media’s reporting before Pope Francis’ visit: “You all scared the shit out of people.”

Nutter said this the day after the pope left town. He also had a hilarious and odd line for the restaurants that lost money during the pope weekend, basically saying: Sorry you didn’t see enough pilgrims to “sell all your pecan crusted salmon with basmati rice.”

On Donald Trump: “He’s an asshole.”

Nutter was holding a press conference earlier this month to address concern the day after a severed pig’s head was found outside Al Aqsa mosque in Germantown. In front of Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders, the topic of Trump came up. Trump was scheduled to speak at a PA GOP luncheon later in the week. Nutter accused Trump of practicing fear-mongering not seen since the 1930s and compared him to Hitler. Then he said, “He’s an asshole. How can I take seriously foreign policy from someone like that?”

Nutter apologized immediately (probably because of all the religious leaders next to him). It was most likely his last public a-bomb as mayor. But we’ll maybe remember that one best.

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