Ask your typical American who Canada’s prime minister is and they would say, ‘What’s a prime minister?’ But ask an American who Toronto’s mayor is, and they would say, ‘Rob Ford.’ Joining us is Martin Short.
David: Marty, you’re a Canadian. Is crack cocaine legal in Canada?
Marty: Yes, it is. And I think it’s wrong. No, it’s not remotely legal. There’s nothing that makes sense in this case. You know, the police chief has video of the mayor smoking crack. Often, that’s a detriment to a man seeking re-election. Somehow, this has helped this man. I don’t have the answers. I lived in Toronto for many years. I can’t explain the phenomenon of Rob Ford. This is a guy who does not care what happens to him. Justin Bieber threw eggs at his house, and Ford just ate them. When Ford goes to a casino buffet . . .
Marty: The cook, upon seeing his arrival screamed, ‘I need backup’ So I can’t explain his popularity. I just can’t.
David: He’s running for re-election . . .
Marty: And he has a very good chance of winning.
David: So he’s done more than drugs. Is there a record he can run on besides his police record?
Marty: What I have been told is that he has kept his campaign promises. He has said he was going to cut taxes, was going to close libraries. Every decision wasn’t based on elegance or sophistication, but it was certainly based on his pledge, ‘I will cut taxes and I will help the suburbs more than the suburbs feel they’re being helped.’ And both those cases, his supporters would say he’s actually done that. There’s been no indication of graft or anything illegal other than personal behavior that the mayor has done. So that’s why he’s forgiven by many.
David: Well, you say that Mayor Ford kept his campaign promises. Some would say that President George W. Bush also kept his campaign promises.
Marty: I don’t think he promised to invade a country that hadn’t done anything to us.
David: You’re saying Mayor Ford didn’t campaign on promising to invade a foreign country, or President Bush?
Marty: Mayor Ford.
David: Mayor Ford said he would never invade a foreign country.
Marty: Unless they had crack cocaine. Then he would invade them. If Buffalo opened a crack cocaine manufacturing, there could be troops coming from Toronto into Buffalo. I’m just warning you. I’m not trying to be the doomsday guy.
David: Mayor Rob Ford has kept his promise to the people who put him in office, who wanted fiscal responsibility, not necessarily personal responsibility.
Marty: Correct. But there are other issues about Ford, you know, that can’t be forgotten. You know, he voted against AIDS funding because, and this is his quote, ‘If you’re not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS, probably.’ This is a quote.
David: Which, to me, is more important than his smoking crack.
Marty: Right. He also solicited money from lobbyists on city letterhead for the Rob Ford Football Foundation, his private charity. Totally illegal. He proposed eliminating the city’s watchdog agencies after they targeted him for misconduct. And he said Oriental people are taking over Toronto because they work like dogs. Using the term ‘Orientals’, first, in this day and age.
Marty: I mean, it’s just like, you wonder, what, is he smoking crack?
It’s insane that this guy represents the fourth-largest city in North America. It’s not elegant. But I have one bit of advice to his wife.
Marty: Get on top!
David: Martin Short, when were you honorary mayor of the Pacific Palisades?
Marty: I was, from 1999 to 2001, and then I was followed by Anthony Hopkins.
David: You were accused of overreach. You did implement a very strict, draconian stop-and-frisk policy as honorary mayor.
Marty: Mm-hmm. It was a little different. It was called stop-and-finger.