Liberal official apologizes for crude remark about Doug Ford

A senior campaign official for the Ontario Liberals is apologizing for a crude comment he made on live television about Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford.

'I think people think Doug Ford's a bit of a dick, to be honest,' Wynne campaign co-chair says

PC Leader Doug Ford is set to respond to the comments at a campaign event in Chatham, Ont., later in the evening. (John Rieti/CBC)

A senior campaign official for the Ontario Liberals is apologizing for a crude comment he made on live television about Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford. 

David Herle, the campaign co-chair for Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, issued a statement this evening saying he regrets the comment and he apologizes "without qualification."

"Doug Ford has a long history of using derogatory and insulting terms to refer to a wide range of people with whom he disagrees — including female journalists, parents of autistic children and many others," Herle said in the statement.

"No matter how commonplace such conduct might be for Mr. Ford, it is no justification to follow suit. There is an important difference between naming behaviours and name calling." 
David Herle, the Ontario Liberal campaign co-chair, is apologizing for a crude comment he made on live television about PC Leader Doug Ford. (CBC)

Herle appeared on a panel discussion on Toronto TV station CP24 earlier in the day, where he compared Ford to his late brother, former Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

Herle said, "I think people liked Rob Ford and I think people think Doug Ford's a bit of a dick, to be honest." 

Wynne, who's fighting for re-election this spring, said earlier this evening that Herle should apologize but he would stay on in his position.

At a campaign event in Chatham, Ont., this evening, Ford said he would take the "high road" and not resort to name-calling, but that Herle should step down, saying his words are insulting to PC supporters.

"I have thick skin. I've been called names before," Ford said at a campaign event in Chatham, Ont., Friday evening. 

"But what bothers me the most is what he's saying, he's insulting the people of Ontario that want to move this province forward. He's insulting my supporters that consist of PC, Liberal and NDP [voters]."

Ontarians go to the polls on June 7.

With files from CBC News