Rob Ford spent months denying that he smokes crack cocaine. But when Toronto’s mayor repeated those various denials, he was careful with his verb tenses. He was always careful to repeat that he doesn’t smoke crack, not that he never did. Today, in front of a crush of reporters, Ford admitted to smoking the drug and said reporters simply had asked the wrong questions. That scene stands in stark contrast to Ford’s initial denial, delivered in front of reporters on May 17.
The first denial
Ford: These allegations are ridiculous. It’s another story … the Toronto Star going after me. That’s all I have to say for now.
A few days later, Ford repeated his most robust denial to the press during a news conference at city hall.
The second denial
Ford: I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine. As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist. It is most unfortunate, very unfortunate, that my colleagues and the great people of this city have been exposed to the fact that I have been judged by the media without any evidence.
That mayor then spent months swatting down questions about his alleged crack use.
May 26, on his radio show: “Number one, there is no video, so that’s all I can say. You can’t comment on something that doesn’t exist.”
Oct. 31, outside of his office: “I wish I could come out and defend myself. Unfortunately I can’t because it’s before the courts. That’s all I can say.”