Toronto mayor Rob Ford: I wasn’t elected to be perfect

Controversial politician tells late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel he expects to be re-elected in October

Toronto’s self-confessed crack-experimenting mayor, Rob Ford, has hit the late night talkshow circuit, telling ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel he “wasn’t elected to be perfect” but that his record of running Canada’s biggest city spoke for itself.

Ford – who became a popular target for late-night TV hosts after admitting to smoking crack cocaine in a “drunken stupor” – appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Monday where the pair looked at videos and photos of some of his more colourful antics during his time in office.

Kimmel said he had become obsessed with Ford, and had even gone to Los Angeles airport to pick up the mayor after his visit to drum up support for Toronto’s entertainment business. The TV host mopped the brow of the noticeably sweating mayor and joked that he would be selling the handkerchief on the auction site eBay.

Ford was stripped of many of his powers by Toronto city council late last year after media outlets reported they had seen a video of him smoking from what appeared to be a crack pipe, but he has refused calls to step down.

Kimmel introduced Ford by saying he had, “smoked his way into our national consciousness”. But Ford seemed to shrug off, rather than explain, many of the antics Kimmel asked about. “I’m moving on. People are going to judge me based on my proven track record,” he said.

When Kimmel broached Ford’s drinking, saying: “If you are an alcoholic …”, Ford threw his head back and laughed before saying: “I wasn’t elected to be perfect, Jimmy”.

“I’ve been responsible with taxpayer money for over 14 years,” he said. “Ninety percent of what I said I was going to do, I’ve done. Toronto is booming right now.”

When the video surfaced last year, Ford initially said he did not smoke the drug, but admitted in November that he had indeed done so. The revelation and his decision to remain in office drew ridicule, especially from TV comedians.

Ford also repeated on Monday’s show that he expected to be re-elected to office in Toronto’s municipal election in October.

In another embarrassing episode, a video of Ford ranting in a Jamaican accent and slurring his words was posted online in January. He conceded he had been drinking and described it as a “minor setback”, saying his personal life did not interfere with his job.

After viewing a clip of the incident on Monday evening, Ford explained that he “just went out with the friends … I have a lot of Jamaican friends, and that’s how we speak”.

The Kimmel show’s other guest was Gonzo, from The Muppets..

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