Rob Ford isn’t backing down, and he is continuing to defend his self-admitted crack smoking as the product of over-drinking and human fallibility.
The Toronto mayor – who on Monday was stripped of most of his powers by the city council – told NBC’s Matt Lauer on “Today” that he still plans to stay in office and run for re-election next year.
When Lauer told Ford he has brought “disgrace” to the mayor’s office, he replied, “I’m embarrassed,” adding, “not just myself, my family, my friends, my supporters, the whole city. I take full responsibility for that. We’ve all made mistakes, Matt. I’m not perfect. Maybe you are, maybe other people are, I’ve made mistakes. I admitted to my mistakes.”
Ford has repeatedly said that he was drunk when he smoked the crack cocaine. Lauer asked if that admission was supposed to make his constituents feel better. The mayor reiterated his call to see a video in which he is allegedly using the drug.
Lauer asked why the video mattered, arguing the mayor was playing a “game of semantics.”
“Because I want to see it,” said Ford. “I can’t even barely remember it. I was very, very inebriated.”
Ford said he’s seeking medical help but admitted he was not getting any specific treatment for drugs or alcohol – in fact, Ford said he was getting treatment for his weight.
“I’m not in any drug treatment programs,” said Ford. “I have a weight issue. I’ve been training every day. All I can say is actions speak louder than words. I invite you to come back. Give me five or six months, and if they don’t see a difference, I’ll eat my words.”
The mayor became testy when Lauer asked what would happen if the city was hit by a major emergency while Ford was on a binge. Ford turned it back on Lauer, saying that while he was fortunate that hasn’t happened “that could happen with anybody at any time. Say you had gone out drinking or you were drunk, and say something happened to your family.”
“The lives of a million people don’t rest on my decisions,” Lauer shot back.
Ford has appeared on several U.S. news networks in the past several days, including Fox News and CNN. The brazen politician even told Fox that he hopes to run for prime minister one day.
Currently, the city council cannot oust Ford unless he has been convicted of a crime.