Rob Ford Launches Canadian Reality TV Show Despite Political Loss
"I'll do a drug test and an alcohol test right now," said the embattled Toronto mayor, reacting to losing political power at Toronto City Hall, as he was simultaneously profiled by Anderson Cooper on CNN.
TORONTO - Rob Ford says he'll take a drug and alcohol test.
"I'll do a drug test and an alcohol test right now," the embattled Toronto mayor said Monday night as he launched a weekly reality TV show, Ford Nation, on Canada's Sun News Network with brother Doug Ford, who is a Toronto city councilor. "I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol," Ford insisted at one point.
His Canadian primetime TV debut came as councilors at Toronto City Hall earlier in the day voted to strip Ford of virtually all his political powers during a raucous debate.
Talks of a drug and alcohol test followed Ford telling Fox News' John Roberts over the weekend that he wasn't a drug addict or an alcoholic, even though in recent weeks he admitted to smoking crack cocaine and binge drinking.
Ford also appeared Monday night on CNN's AC360 during an interview with reporter Bill Weir that was taped over the weekend.
"I made mistakes. I drank too much. I smoked crack sometimes. I'm human," a ranting Ford told American TV viewers. "Why go see an addiction specialist when I'm not an addict?"
Anderson Cooper, when he spoke to Weir after the taped interview aired, asked: "Does he [Ford] have no self-control?"
Weir responded that Ford has "the impulse control of a young boy," which only adds to the anti-politician persona that his Canadian supporters, dubbed Ford Nation, embrace.
The Toronto mayor's latest TV appearances followed Ford on Monday during a City Hall debate comparing his political downfall to the invasion of Kuwait. "This, folks, reminds me of when, when I was watching with my brother, when Saddam attacked Kuwait,” Ford told councilors before they clipped his powers. “And President [George H. W.] Bush said, ‘I warn you, I warn you, I warn you, do not,' " the combative mayor added.
Then Ford promised a down-and-dirty political campaign when he runs, as promised, for re-election in one year's time.
"Folks, if you think American-style politics is nasty, you guys have just attacked Kuwait,” he said, laughing, to fellow councilors and critics seated in the public gallery.
"Mark my words, this is going to be outright war in the next election," he added.
The City Council voted overwhelmingly to drastically cut Ford's budget by 60 percent and divert most of his staff to deputy mayor Norm Kelly as they took away most of his political powers.
The unprecedented vote also followed a fractious council meeting where Ford knocked over councilor Pam McConnell after breaking into a run around the chamber, got into a shouting match with critics in the public gallery, and, at one point, mimed drunk driving to mock another councilor, Paul Ainslie, who had received a police warning earlier this year for drinking and driving.