Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Finally Cracks: 'I Have Smoked Crack'
Toronto police have been claiming for days that they have video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. On Tuesday November 5 the embattled mayor finally admitted that he may have done so in a "drunken stupor” but that such behavior indicates he overindulges in alcohol, not that he's a crack addict.
“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine,” Ford told reporters at an impromptu news conference outside his office just after noon, according to a transcript released by CBC News. “But … am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago.”
As for the police tape, he called for them to release it publicly and challenged its very existence.
“I want everybody in the city to see this tape,” Ford said. “I don’t even recall there being a tape. I want to see the state I was in.”
He added that he had not been lying about the crack smoking all these months. He had simply been waiting for “the correct questions,” he told the reporters, who were caught off-guard.
“I wasn’t lying,” he said, according to the Star. “You didn’t ask the correct questions. You guys kept referring to alcohol.”
He added, “No, I don’t do drugs.”
The fact that he is guilty of drunken behavior and not crack addiction, Ford said, allows him not only to stay in office but also run for reelection next year—numerous calls for his resignation notwithstanding.
“Yes, I’ve made mistakes,” he said. “All I can do now is apologize and move on.”
Ford has been defending himself from crack allegations for months. The supposed video, which police said did not provide enough evidence to charge the mayor, allegedly surfaced in May of this year. Until Tuesday he would admit only to imperfections.
"I'm the first one to admit I'm not perfect. I have made mistakes,” he said on his weekly radio show, quoted by Reuters. “I have made mistakes and all I can do right now is apologize for the mistakes. I sincerely, sincerely apologize to my family, to the citizens, to taxpayers of this great city."
Meanwhile Ford’s notoriety has extended to late-night television, where he has been pilloried by, among others, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel and Jon Stewart.
The mayor famously was caught on tape blowing up at reporters last week as they camped outside his residence.
Moments after his admission, his conservative allies said he was unfit to lead the city.
“I think he’s lost the moral authority to lead,” City Council Member Denzil Minnan-Wong told the Star of the disclosure, which took even the mayor’s staff by surprise. “We’re in uncharted territory.”
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