News media at Rob Ford’s victory party on Monday night. Photo by Christopher Drost/Torontoist.
Fewer than twenty-four hours after he was elected mayor, Rob Ford gave a phone interview with CBC Radio’s As It Happens—while at a football practice for the high school team he coaches. His Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School Eagles are on the verge of a championship, after all; they face off on Thursday afternoon against Chaminade College School.
The audio of the interview is being passed around now, and not without good reason: Ford’s interview with Canada’s public broadcaster—as he intermittently peels off to yell at players and fellow coaches, and as he very distractedly tries to answer Carol Off’s questions—is at turns funny, disorienting, and distressing.
Our attempt at a transcript of the three-minute-long conversation:
Carol Off: Mr. Ford, congratulations…
Rob Ford: Thank you. Appreciate it.
Carol Off: People are saying it’s a, calling it a stunning win. What do you think that—
Rob Ford: Things are, things are going really well.
Carol Off: What drew so much—
Rob Ford, yelling: Coach, half your juniors aren’t even here, eh? Alright. Alright.
Carol Off: Hello, Mr. Ford, are you there?
Rob Ford: Yeah, yeah, I’m here, yeah.
Carol Off: Oh, you’re at some event or…?
Rob Ford: I’m a coach. I’m a football coach.
Carol Off: Okay, so you’re at football practice, then.
Rob Ford: Yes.
Carol Off: Alright well, okay, we’ll continue then. What is it that you think drew so much support to your campaign?
Rob Ford: Yeah, it’s just people are sick and tired of the wasteful spending. People are sick and tired of wasteful spending, that’s the bottom line, that’s what it comes down.
Carol Off: Well there—
Rob Ford: You know, I’m the only one that can go down there [Inaudible, then, yelling:] Just go get changed! Go! Out! And get changed! Don’t worry about the water right now. [Pause.] Sorry.
Carol Off: Uh-huh—
Rob Ford: So, um, yeah, no, people are just fed up with, uh, with, you know, uh, politicians squandering, uh, hard-earned tax dollars, and they know that I’m gonna get rid of the sixty-dollar car registration tax and the land transfer tax.
Carol Off: Well you know that your campaign has been compared to Mike Harris’s Common Sense Revolution, to the Tea Party movement, do you see those comparisons?
Rob Ford: I don’t see [inaudible] comparisons [inaudible] what, I don’t care [laughs]. I just, I just know, know the taxpayers, uh, want, uh, you know, the gravy train to come to an end, and that, uh, Rob Ford’s the guy to do it, and uh [inaudible]—
Carol Off: Do you think there are similarities?
Rob Ford: And, and, I don’t, I don’t see there’s any similarities, I just know that, uh, like I said, uh, I’m, you know, gonna put an end to the wasteful spending, and, uh…you know, stop the gravy train—sorry, I’m being distracted [inaudible] so…
Carol Off: So—
Rob Ford: So, that’s pretty well it.
Carol Off: Mr. Ford, do you think that though there’s not people that who might think that their taxes are too high, or that too much is being spent on things? There seems to be a division in this city. People, in the, ah, you’ve seen it in even your voting: people who live in the more of the core of the city have different priorities than people in the suburbs. So when you stop the gravy train, some people want to see more public transportation, more bike lanes…
Rob Ford: Right…
Carol Off: …others want to see better routes out into the suburbs. how are you going to reconcile that?
Rob Ford: Well the first, well the first and foremost concern with people—is money. That’s the first and foremost concern. So, I’m gonna make sure our finances, um, you know, are well taken care of, and then we can deal with all the other issues, but uh, money’s the first and foremost concern, and, uh, that’s what my uh, what I’m gonna concentrate on.
Carol Off: Well sure, that’s everyone’s concern, but we’re not sure what it is that you’re going to save money on. Are you going to reduce public transportation?
Rob Ford, interrupting: Well I just told you that I’m gonna get rid of the sixty-dollar car registration tax and land transfer tax, so, um, maybe I’m not making myself clear, but I’m gonna get rid of the sixty-dollar car registration tax and land transfer tax. And we’re gonna stop the wasteful spending, and not have $12,000 retirement parties, and you know, all the other nonsense that’s been going on for seven years.
Carol Off: Um—
Rob Ford, interrupting: Anyways, I gotta let you go here. And, uh…
Carol Off: Well, can I ask you about public transportation before you go?
Rob Ford: Pardon me? I can’t talk to you right now—I’m really, I’m on a really tight schedule, so I hate to be rude, but I gotta let you go, and we can chat another time. Really nice talking to you, all the best, buh-bye.
Thanks to the dozens of people who sent this in.