Mayor Rob Ford on the defensive in American morning-show blitz
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Councillor Doug Ford talk with NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer.
U.S. morning show audiences woke up Tuesday to interviews with crack-smoking Mayor Rob Ford.
Ford granted one-on-one interviews to NBC’s Today show and ABC’s Good Morning America on Monday after council stripped him of most of his powers.
The sit-down interviews continue a media blitz Ford and his brother Councillor Doug Ford started Monday with their appearance on Sun News Network.
Ford got a rough ride from Today host Matt Lauer when he and his brother sat down with him inside the mayor’s office Monday night.
“You have brought disgrace to this office and you know that is true,” Lauer told Mayor Ford.
“I’ve embarrassed not just myself, my family, my friends, my supporters, the whole city, I take full responsibility for that,” he said. “We’ve all made mistakes. I’m not perfect.”
Lauer asked Ford about his denial of crack cocaine use over the last six months, accusing Ford of playing a “game of semantics.”
“No, I don’t use crack cocaine. Have I tried crack cocaine? Yes, I’ve tried it,” Ford said.
Referencing Ford’s comment that he tried crack in a “drunken stupor,” Lauer asked if that’s supposed to make anyone feel better.
“No, not at all,” Ford said. “But show me the video ... I want to see it ... I can’t even remember, I was very, very inebriated.”
Councillor Doug Ford jumped in at that point to defend the mayor.
“Show me any mayor in North America right this second that has done what he has done. He has saved taxpayers a billion dollars,” Ford said.
The Etobicoke North (Ward 2) councillor said he does worry about his brother over his “weight issues” and “when he goes on a, if you want a call it, a binge drinking and I hear about it, yeah, it’s concerning.”
“Has Rob been 100% honest? No, he hasn’t,” he said.
Rob Ford said he “absolutely” still wants to be the mayor.
“They’re not going to find another Rob Ford,” he said, when asked about the possibility voters may want a fiscal conservative without his personal baggage.
Ford told ABC News council was acting like a “dictatorship.”
“All they did was stab me in the back,” Ford said in the interview that aired on Good Morning America Tuesday. “And over issues, the same issues that I’ve admitted to that they do but nobody knows about it.”
He went on to guarantee to both networks that in five months he’ll be a different person and promised ABC he’d take a drug or alcohol test to prove it at that time.
The Ford saga also made newspaper headlines in the U.S. on Tuesday.
“His Honor? Toronto’s mayor rages on, to city’s shame,” read the headline on the front page of The New York Times.
— With files from Shawn Jeffords
Are you tired of the media coverage of Mayor Rob Ford?
Yes. I feel like I can't escape the man
No. It seems to get more wild every day