ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - A tweet Monday night thrust St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman into the national spotlight.
"NBC News, Washington Post, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC," Kriseman ticked off Tuesday evening, indicating the national interest in his response to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call to ban Islamic immigrants.
"I thought this is ridiculous, and I'm not going to dignify it by addressing it seriously," the mayor told FOX 13 News. "I'm just going to call it out for what it really is."
And so he tweeted: "I am hereby barring Donald Trump from entering St. Petersburg until we fully understand the dangerous threat posed by all Trumps."
A full day later, Kriseman said, "My phone is still on silent because I'm still getting tweets."
By 11 p.m. Tuesday, his post had been "liked" nearly 20,000 times on Twitter, and he estimates 75% to 80% of the re-Tweets are positive. Calls to his office flip that split.
"Those who are happy with the comments aren't taking the time to call the office. Those who aren't, are calling the office." Kriseman said most of those negative calls are from outside the city and even the state.
"What amazes me is how many of his supporters have taken me literally," Kriseman mused, "Like I really believe that I can ban Donald Trump from coming to St. Pete."
Joking aside, the mayor's underlying disdain for Trump's comments is quite serious. The Florida Holocaust Museum is in St. Petersburg, and Kriseman is Jewish.
"To single out an entire religeon and then take this broad brush and say that every Muslim is a danger and we should ID every one of them, ban them, that's scary, that's not America, that's not this country, not who we are," Kriseman said.
Asked directly whether he thinks Trump is a racist and a bigot, Kriseman responded, "That's for others to judge. I don't like [Trump's] comments, I think that his comments were dangerous."