News

Fords run media blitz in fight to cling to power

By Don Peat, City Hall Bureau Chief

Previews of the CNN interview show Mayor Rob Ford sparring with journalist Bill Weir.

Previews of the CNN interview show Mayor Rob Ford sparring with journalist Bill Weir.

TORONTO - 

The Ford brothers ran a media blitz Monday night and revealed they believe they are still under police surveillance.

Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford’s Sun News Network show, Ford Nation, premiered but the embattled brothers also took their fight to cling to power to CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and in interview with the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge.

In all three appearances, Mayor Ford — who has admitted to smoking crack cocaine — made it clear he won’t be resigning and is gearing up to fight next year’s election. Speaking directly to supporters during his Sun News Network show, Ford promised he was going to improve his behaviour.

“It’s humbling. I want to thank my supporters for sticking with me. I guarantee you’re going to see a change in the next few months,” Ford said.

“If I’m not down 30-40 pounds in the next six months then I can eat my words. I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol, I’m dealing with a team of professionals. I’m getting the help for, sometimes, sometimes my excessive drinking. Guys, I think this is getting blown out of proportion.”

Asked about police surveillance, the Fords admitted they still believe they are being watched by Toronto Police.

“They think I’m stupid,” Mayor Ford said. “I knew these people were following me.

“I kept running these plates, calling the police and they were coming back to me saying it was private. We knew we were being followed.”

Councillor Ford said he still believed a surveillance car was parked outside Deco Labels — the Ford family business — on Saturday night.

“We come out and bang, the same car sitting there every night,” he said.

“It’s politics Rob. They don’t want these other guys, they want you. That’s what it’s about. The resources are going to try to catch you.”

In an interview with Mansbridge that also aired Monday night, Ford told the anchor he hasn’t had a drop of booze in three weeks and has had a “come-to-Jesus moment.”

Anderson Cooper 360 aired an interview that the Fords did with CNN’s Bill Weir in Rexdale over the weekend.

Mayor Ford was often bombastic in the interview as Weir challenged him about his almost six months of lying about using crack before finally admitted he had smoked the drug.

“I don’t smoke crack, and I’m not a crack addict,” Ford said. “Have I? Yes, I have. So that’s what — I didn’t lie. I don’t smoke crack. I haven’t smoked crack in over a year.”

He lashed out at the “rich elites” and denied he’s an alcoholic or a drug addict.

“Why go see an addiction specialist when I’m not an addict?” Ford asked.

Councillor Ford told Weir the mayor never had any allies on council but would keep fighting.

“We make Chicago politics look like a tea party,” Ford told Weir.

Cooper seemed puzzled by the mayor’s behaviour depicted in the report.

“Does he have no self-control?” Cooper asked Weir.

 

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