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June 30, 2016

Sorry, Donald Trump, but Milton Street rescinds his endorsement

The local rabble rouser invited the GOP candidate to a rally in Philadelphia but now says he won't even vote for him

Elections Donald Trump
02-120315_Milton_Carroll.jpg Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Milton Street speaks to reporters on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2015, outside the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

Back in December, T. Milton Street Sr. invited Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to come to Philadelphia for a rally with the city's African American community. On Thursday, he told PhillyVoice that the offer no longer stands.

Yep. Milton has found his way to the “Dump Trump” side of the equation.

“He doesn’t think before he talks. I can’t go that way, man,” said Street, the former state representative and senator who announced last month that he’s considering a run for U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah’s seat.

"I’m abandoning that dude. There’s absolutely no way that I can stand up and ask anybody to vote Donald Trump.” – T. Milton Street Sr.

“I’m abandoning that dude," Street continued. "There’s absolutely no way that I can stand up and ask anybody to vote Donald Trump.”

The invitation arose at a meeting between Trump, Street and Street’s daughter Renee Toppin after a rally in Manassas, Va

Back then, and as recently as mid-April, Street hoped Trump’s appearance, and related support, could get his “414 Community Movement" up and running.

Upon deeper reflection, though, Street does not think Trump’s involvement would help. 

The breaking point came earlier this month in Redding, California, where Trump pointed out a black man in the audience and called him “my African American.”

“Man, listen Brian, that whole ‘this is my African American thing,’ oh my God. If I had been there, it’d be a national scene,” Street said. “He doesn’t think before he talks. I can’t go that way, man.”

Logistically speaking, Street said he can garner necessary support for the 414 Program through other means as opposed to risking any Trump-related entanglements. But don’t take that to mean he’s supporting Trump’s Democratic foe, Hillary Clinton, for he most certainly does not.

“I’m not a big Hillary fan. I can write someone in or do something else. I’m not a Libertarian fan, either. But I will not vote for Donald Trump, and I won’t ask anybody else to vote for Donald Trump,” he said. “He supports waterboarding? C’mon, man. This is still America. 

"While he’s right when he says we have to get tough with the jihadists, the question he still doesn’t answer is how we get tough. How can you get tough with people who are willing to kill themselves for their beliefs? You can’t get tough with them by talking, and you can’t just go over there and wipe them out without killing a bunch of innocent people, too.”

As for the presidential campaign, Street said he expected it to be “worse than the Barry Goldwater election,” with tensions today reminding him of that 1964 race between Goldwater and Lyndon B. Johnson. He fully expects people to follow his exodus from the world of Trump, though.

“All the people in his camp are on some sort of psychotic flight, and he’ll hasten their trip back to the world of reality,” said Street, who has scheduled a July 12 press conference with Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jones at 22nd Street and Lehigh Avenue to talk about his potential candidacy for Congress, as well as Trump.