Rob Ford gave a one-on-one interview with NBC's Today show on Tuesday to answer questions about his drinking and substance use.
Ford denied using drugs — he said his use of crack last year was "experimenting" — and defended his occasional drinking. He also trumpeted his achievements in office in advance of the municipal election in October.
The interview was a sequel to Matt Lauer's interview with the mayor in the fall — a chippy affair in which Ford challenged Lauer to return to Toronto to see his progress in dealing with his personal issues. "All I can say, Matt, is action speaks louder than words. I invite you to come back, give me five or six months, and if you don't see a difference, I'll eat my words," said Ford in the Nov. 18 interview.
On Tuesday, the followup interview focused on Ford's appearance at an Etobicoke steak restaurant after drinking. Ford promised not to drink again.
"Have I had a drink? Yes, I have," admitted Ford. "But not to the point of some of the episodes before. So you know what, that’s past me, and we’re moving on. Again I just can't wait for the campaign."
The mayor used his oft-repeated defence for his drinking, saying, "You know what, Matt? Maybe you’re perfect, but I’m not, and we’re moving on in a positive direction."
He explained the incident — in which Ford appeared on video in the restaurant speaking in a faux Jamaican patois — as a fun night.
"Well you know what, I’ve been brought up with a lot of Jamaican friends, and we went out, and yeah, that’s what I mean ... I drank, and I enjoyed myself, on I think it was, Friday? I can’t remember what night it was," said Ford.
The mayor, in campaign mode, gave several re-election talking points to break up the discussion about his drinking.
He also commented on the recent Canadian gold medals in hockey at the Sochi Olympics, saying hockey is "our game" and "a religion."
Just like in his previous interview with Lauer, Ford invited Lauer to check back in with him again. "Come back in another few months," said Ford.