Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford refused to resign on Tuesday, hours after admitting he smoked crack cocaine, expressing regret and apologies but maintaining that he had more to do for “the sake of the taxpayers” of Toronto.
“With today’s announcement, I know I embarrased everyone in this city and I will be forever sorry,” he said in a press conference. “There’s only one person to blame for this and that is myself. I know that admitting my mistake was the right thing to do and I feel like a 1000 pounds have been lifted off my shoulders.
“I can’t explain how difficult this was to do,” a visibly shaken Ford continued. “I hope, I hope that nobody, nobdy has to go through what I have gone through. I know what I did was wrong and admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing I have ever had to do.”
Ford said that he kept his secret from his staff and his brother, Toronto City Councillor Doug Ford.
“I kept this from my family, especially my brother Doug, my staff, my council colleagues because I was embarassed and ashamed,” he said. “To the residents of Toronto, I know I have let you down and I can’t do anything else but apologize and apologize and I’m so sorry. I know, I know I have to regain your trust and your confidence. I love my job, I love my job and I love this city. I love saving taxpayers money and I love being your mayor.
“There is important work that we must advance and important decisions that must be made,” he added. “For the sake of the taxpayers of this great city we must get back to work. We must keep Toronto moving forward. I was elected to do a job and that’s exactly what I’m going to continue doing.”
Ford said it was up to the residents of Toronto to decide his fate come 2014.
“They have a choice, we live in a democracy,” he continued. “And on Oct. 27 of 2014, I want the people of this great city to decide whether they want Rob Ford to be their mayor. Again, I sincerely, sincerely, sincerely apologize. God bless the people of Toronto.”
Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site’s coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.