In his first public words since voters nominated Michael Nutter to succeed him, Mayor Street yesterday complimented the former city councilman's "strategic" campaign but said Nutter's television ad criticizing him was "a low blow."
"It doesn't bother me that Michael Nutter was successful," Street told reporters in a brief hallway interview outside his office. Then he said: "For him to go on television and say this mayor has an 'indifferent' attitude about homicides, I think was uncalled for."
The mayor didn't say he wanted an apology for the ad, which Nutter began running last month in an effort to set himself apart in the crowded five-way Democratic field. But Street labeled it "unfair and inappropriate."
The mayor, who phoned Nutter Tuesday night after his primary win, said that he would support the former councilman - his longtime and frequent nemesis in City Hall - against Republican Al Taubenberger in November, and that he expected a smooth transition to the new administration.
Nutter seconded this, saying yesterday during a WHYY radio interview that Street "will have served eight years as mayor of the city and certainly there are lessons to be learned."
Street said he had not endorsed anyone in the race because he wanted to focus on helping his son, Sharif, in what turned out to be a failed run for City Council.
As The Inquirer reported last week, the mayor also made fund-raising calls for a group airing a television ad that ripped Nutter's "stop-and-frisk" anti-crime proposal. Street said he did not discuss his opposition to the proposal when he spoke Tuesday night with Nutter.
Street said he biked around the city for five hours late Tuesday and observed that voters seemed devoid of much enthusiasm, accounting in his mind for the relatively low turnout - just shy of 300,000 Democrats.
Reminded that turnout was the same when he won a similar five-way primary race to become the mayoral nominee in 1999, Street said: "I thought there was a little bit more excitement in the primary of '99 than I felt in the street yesterday."