WATCH: Ford says he won't back down

At campaign party, tells supporters he's just like them

Rob Ford addresses supporters at the Toronto Congress Centre, April 17, 2014
The Canadian Press

After a year that by his own admission has had “some rocky moments”, Rob Ford is vowing not to back down as he tries for a second term as mayor of Toronto.

Hundreds of members of Ford Nation lined up well before doors opened Thursday night on an event billed as Ford’s campaign launch. Ford officially signed up for re-election January 2.

Party-goers were handed blue and red Ford flags and a free drink ticket as they entered Etobicoke’s Toronto Congress Centre. The cavernous room was about half full when the mayor took the stage at 8 pm.

Many strode directly toward a line to buy bobbleheads of the mayor’s likeness. The figurines went for $30 and $100, a fundraising effort for the campaign. The bobblehead line reached nearly to the back of the event space for most of the night. There was other memorabilia to buy too—T-shirts, foam fingers, thundersticks, buttons and travel mugs.

The space was decorated with video boards, red and blue Ford Nation signs and a de-commissioned Ford Motors firetruck, festooned with messages like “Saving the taxpayers from getting burned”.

Rob Ford made his entrance into the hall in grand style—led in by bagpipers, a moving three-person pyramid, and sign-waving supporters.

During his nearly half-hour speech, Rob Ford told the crowd over and over he is standing firm on what he’s been offering up as mayor since 2010.

“When it comes to standing up for the great people of this city, fighting for the average, hard-working person, I won’t back down.”

Ford’s also used the opportunity to showcase “every guy” image while admonishing “caviar Calvins and special interest Sallys”.

“The people of Toronto know that I am just like them,” he said.

Ford said he has learned “how much it matters to people that their mayor has lived through life’s ups and downs.”

He did not specifically mention the crack scandal, being caught impaired on video or being investigated by Toronto Police, but early in his speech, Ford acknowledged that the last year has had some “rocky moments.”

Ford’s unidentified mistakes have taught him about “humility, the kindness of people and the spirit of second chances.”

Ford said he has been approached many times while buying groceries or grabbing a coffee by people offering their support, encouragement and expressed hope that he’s learned from his mistakes and will move on.

“I want to say to you, loud and clear, I have listened to every single one you”, said Ford “I have learned loud and clear.”

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  1. Don is always right posted on 04/18/2014 05:34 AM
    I'm a bit surprised by the lack of Somali drug dealers and other gang bangers in that crowd of supporters.
    1. Mark7 posted on 04/18/2014 12:54 PM
      @Don is always right Another infantile comment from you, Don Was Wrong. It is what I expected. lol
  2. HP posted on 04/18/2014 08:00 AM
    A rich kid with a trust fund telling regular folk that he's just like them? So who's stupid, Rob Ford or the regular folk?

    I think the average voter got sucked into the myth...Rob is a member of the 1% yet people think he's just a plain old fat arrogant sociopath that's just like them. They deserve to have him win again and continue with the contempt for them all.
    1. Walter posted on 04/18/2014 10:48 AM
      @HP I really want to vote against Ford, but so far none of the others have impressed me. Maybe John Tory could cancel the on-street portion of the Eglinton LRT and build it elevated. That would cost very little and would improve both transit and car commutes. Then maybe cancel the on-street LRT's on Sheppard and Finch and use the money for the DRL. There has been enough money promised to build real Rapid Transit.
  3. Ron posted on 04/18/2014 08:40 AM
    The fact that Rofo has any supporters left is unbelievable.
    1. Walter posted on 04/18/2014 10:45 AM
      @Ron Ford and Wynne have their fates linked. If anyone is stupid enough to support one, then the other will be supported out of spite.
    2. Mark7 posted on 04/18/2014 12:56 PM
      @Ron The fact that the Fiberals have any supporters left is unbelievable. That includes ALL lefties of ALL levels of government.
  4. fran posted on 04/18/2014 10:44 AM
    great job rob ford thankus KARL MARK7 FRANKIE and a few others thankU so much
    1. Mark7 posted on 04/18/2014 11:45 AM
      @fran You're welcome, and please do not forget to thank Karl Burgin. Although Karl doesn't live and vote in Toronto, he is a key member of our Rob Ford reelection campaign. We would be lost without his insight, brilliant comments, and undying love for our (not his) mayor.
  5. arthur posted on 04/18/2014 11:44 AM
    anyone know who Ford was talking about when he mentioned honesty, integrity and transparency in his speech?
  6. Interested Observer posted on 04/18/2014 12:51 PM
    I attended the kick-off last night out of curiosity. After speaking with as many others there as possible I came away with these observations.
    1. The crowd was significantly smaller than the Ford camp thought it would be.
    2. There is no question that the people at the front nearest to the mayor were paid to be there. This was particularly evident during his speech when many of them kept looking to a few others for their cues to scream, cheer or applaud.
    4. The majority of the people I spoke to (about 30) told me they wouldn't be voting in the election - they were just at the kick-off for the fun of the event.
    5. Of those who told me they would be voting (9 of the 30), 5 said it would be for John Tory and 1 for Karen Stintz. Only 1 said they were solid supporters of Ford and 1 other wouldn't tell me.
    6. 5 people also expressed their disgust to me with the Ford fire truck prop.

    While I admit I'm not a Ford fan to begin with, I was very surprised to find so many others there who also aren't. The Ford camp should find this very disconcerting. They threw a big bash, gave away drinks and flags, sold some bobbleheads, and, from what I could tell, lost more traction than they gained.

    Ford is in more trouble than I even suspected.
    1. Mark7 posted on 04/18/2014 01:01 PM
      @Interested Observer Like I believe what you just reported. I do not believe anyone who is probably a criminal leftie supporter.
  7. Doug Ford posted on 04/18/2014 03:56 PM
    On behalf of my brother Rob I would like to thank the hundreds of supporters that came to support us at the Congress Centre last night. We have a hard journey ahead of us but believe that we have found the chink in Olivia Chow's armor and that she will not endure the Ford Nation onslaught.

    Thanks Randy for sourcing that great little fire truck, the symbolization of us hosing down the Pinkos was awesome...especially after all that beer. Also, we'll show Toronto that potholes are not just places for Rob to smoke his dope.

    Thanks again, see you in October.
  8. Doug Ford posted on 04/18/2014 04:32 PM
    I have been reminded to thank all of those that purchased $100 raffle tickets at my fun raiser, the winner of the date with my daughter will be announced next week after we have completed the required criminal and background checks as outlined on the ticket. We need to take all precautions to ensure that she is not exposed to convicted felons, those with deviant sexual practices, and domestic abusers like my sister and sister-in-law, The Pollack.

    Thank you for your support, losers, eat you hearts (and honey) out.
    1. Disgusted posted on 04/18/2014 09:11 PM
      @Doug Ford I just found out (after buying 7 tickets no less) that the fix is in for the raffle.

      Rob, Doug, and Sandro were (allegedly) at the Steak Queen today laughing at the amount of money the raffle raised even though the fix is in for Sandro's ticket to get picked (allegedly).
      Unfortunately there is no video (nor was there ever a video) to prove it.
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