TORONTO - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford won't guarantee he will stay sober if he's re-elected, saying on a radio show Friday that people will just have to trust him.
Ford, who returned this week from two months in rehab, said in an interview on Newstalk 1010 that he wouldn't make any promises about something over which he has "no control."
Radio host Jerry Agar said that as someone who has supported Ford in the past, the lack of guarantees that he won't drink again if re-elected makes it tough to "take another four-year shot on Rob Ford."
"That's up to you," Ford replied. "You're going to have to look at my record and compare it to the people I'm running (against) and you're basically going to have to trust me."
Ford insisted that returning to lead Canada's largest city and run for re-election Oct. 27 won't compromise his recovery, touting savings he found during his first mayoral term.
"In my private life it was a disaster," he said. "In my public life it was fantastic."
The worst thing for him now would be to sit at home and do nothing, Ford said.
"Idle time is the devil's playground and it's not good to have a lot of time," he said.
A small group of people, inspired by "shirtless jogger" Joe Killoran whose rant at Ford during a Canada Day event touched off a social media frenzy, gathered outside the radio studios — many of them shirtless themselves — calling for Ford to answer people's questions.
"We have no shirts, you have no ethics," read one sign.
Protester John Furr said the group's mission was to "try to start a movement, you know, the shirtless horde. Get people around the city coming out and saying it's okay to sit there and be impolite and express your distaste for the mayor."
"It's time to stand up," he said, "And when you see him, take off your shirt and say 'leave.'"
Ford is always saying the city needs to have 'some skin in the game' when it comes to building subways, said Richard Feren, the man behind the well-known Twitter parody of Rob Ford, @TOMayorFrod. "We're following his advice for at least that."
Ford said he wasn't bothered by the protest, but he was surprised media outlets weren't reporting on "all the support" he has been receiving since returning from rehab.
Since his return Ford has given a handful of interviews, but has refused to take questions from city hall journalists at large about the circumstances surrounding his alcohol and drug use, the company he kept and offensive remarks he has made.
© Coast Reporter