TODAY

TODAY   |  November 19, 2013

Mayor Rob Ford: ‘I’m not perfect’

Hours after being stripped of most of his powers in a raucous city council meeting, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Councilman Doug Ford sit down with TODAY’s Matt Lauer to discuss the scandal-scarred’s lawmaker’s run of bad behavior.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> we were with mayor rob ford of toronto a couple of hours after the city council there stripped him of his staff, most of his budget and most of his power. if you think he's backing down he's gearing up for a long fight.

>> so he's not going anywhere.

>> no, he is waiting and running for re-election. he is vowing to stick around. that's the top story this morning. mayor ford has been under fire after his admitted use of crack cocaine and during that chaotic meeting he even almost knocked over a city council woman. we travelled to toronto last night to talk to the mayor and his brother, councilman doug ford .

>> you said as we were sitting down, you said what happened in city council chambers was unprecedented. it never happened before . what went on in there?

>> they took away 383,000 people that voted for me, their rights.

>> you have brought disgrace to this office, and you know that's true.

>> i've embarrassed not just myself, my family, my friends, my supporters, the whole city. i take full responsibility for that. we've all made mistakes, matt. i'm not perfect. maybe you are. maybe other people are. i've made mistakes. i admitted to my mistakes.

>> when the questions began to circulate around you mr. mayor and people started to ask you about the use of crack cocaine you played a game of semantics. they asked were you a crack addict according to you and you said no.

>> i'm not. and they did do you use crack cocaine ? no. i don't use crack cocaine . no. have i tried crack cocaine , yes.

>> that's a game of semantics and the best excuse i heard you give is i'm in a drunken stupor and is that supposed to make anybody feel better?

>> not at all.

>> show me the video.

>> why does the video matter?

>> i could barely even remember it. i was very --

>> you're not in a alcohol treatment program?

>> no, i have a weight issue. have been training every day. all i can speak is actions speak louder than words. come back and give me five or six months. if they don't see a difference, i'll leave.

>> it's simple. show me any mayor in north america that's done what he has done. he has saved the taxpayers $1 billion.

>> i would expect you to sit here and defend your brother. i think it's loyal and i think it 's wonderful . have you ever been worried about him.

>> yeah. his weight issues. when he goes on a binge -- if you want to call it binge drinking and i hear about it, yeah, it's concerning. do i know on a personal side? has rob been 100% honest? no. he hasn't.

>> he said you go out on a weekend and you maybe go on a little binge once in awhile.

>> not every weekend.

>> no, i said every once in awhile.

>> let's retract that.

>> no, i said you go on a weekend, you may go on a binge every once in awhile.

>> absolutely.

>> let's say you go on a binge and your phone rings in your office and something terrible has happened, terrorist attack? some other disaster. are you equipped? and capable enough and stable enough to handle it?

>> there's very few isolated incidents that hasn't happened. that could happen with anyone or anymore. same you're a drunk and something happens to your family.

>> the lives of 1 million people aren't resting on my decision.

>> say your daughter gets in a car accident and you're plastered at 3:00 a.m . in the morning. are you going to be able to handle that.

>> i take personal responsibility for my family and you have taxpayers relying on you.

>> i take personal responsibility for them too.

>> do you still want this job?

>> absolutely. october 22nd let the people decide.

>> what if they say we want another guy like rob ford with the fiscal responsibility but another guy to elevate the office.

>> they're not going to find another rob ford .

>> that's for sure.

>> but this guy literally -- i mean, he is convinced that what he has done on the positive side for the city far outweighs the embarrassment he brought to the office and himself.

>> yeah but it seems they still failed to grasp the lapse in judgment.

>> on the way to the airport did you talk to any folks?

>> absolutely. from the person that drove me to the custom's agent that checked my passport and said why are you here? i said i'm doing an interview. they said not the mayor, please. they honestly said he should go away. so for me, almost unanimous decision that the time has come.