Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington, D.C. who was once caught on camera smoking crack cocaine, says Rob Ford is making a "fool of himself."
Barry also thinks the mayor of Toronto is using his substance abuse issues as an excuse for his behaviour.
A former four-term mayor and current city councillor, Barry was arrested for crack cocaine use and possession in a 1990 FBI sting operation involving a former girlfriend turned informant.
The FBI captured video of Barry appearing to smoke crack and he served six months in federal prison. However, his jail time actually resulted from a conviction for possession related to an incident in 1989.
Barry was again elected mayor in 1994, after telling his opponents and detractors to "get over it."
Barry recently gave an interview to Slate political reporter David Weigel, who asked the infamous politician to compare how the media has treated him and Ford. Weigel suggested that Ford is seen as more of a "clownish" figure.
"He's not connected to me," Barry said. "He doesn't have my historical record of achievement."
Barry gave a similar answer when TMZ asked him about Ford a month ago, adding that he was too busy dealing with his own constituents to worry about Toronto's mayor.
But Barry also suggested in the Slate interview that he has been paying attention to recent news about Ford.
"He's making a fool of himself," he said. "He shouldn't use the fact that he’s been abusing drugs as an excuse for being a fool.
"I sympathize with him, I know what he's going through, but I don't agree with what he's doing."
Ford, who recently returned from a two-month stint at rehab, has blamed his drug and alcohol addiction for mistakes he has made in the past, including homophobic, racist and misogynistic slurs.
"When you have this disease, you say things, do things that aren't you," Ford recently told CP24.
The mayor has also conceded he can't guarantee he won’t relapse if re-elected in October.
Yet, the controversy Ford has sparked since returning from rehab has had little to do with booze or alcohol.
Andray Domise, a candidate for Ward 2, says Ford shrugged and said only "it's complicated" when he pressed the mayor about racist slurs the mayor previously uttered about African Canadians.
Last week, Ford faced more accusations of homophobia after he was the only member of council not to join in a standing ovation for WorldPride organizers and, the next day, the sole councillor to vote against a proposal to help gay homeless youth.
But reaction to a tweet Ford (or someone on his campaign) wrote over the weekend suggests some people are indeed having trouble "getting over" the mayor's addiction issues.
Ford shared a photo with Canadian boxing legend George Chuvalo at a "Fight Against Drugs" barbecue.
Great turnout at George Chuvalo's 14th 'Fight Against Drugs' BBQ at Fitness 365 pic.twitter.com/7H7jUHPuqu— Mayor Rob Ford (@TOMayorFord) July 12, 2014
Many on Twitter found the photo ironic.
@TOMayorFord you have got to be kidding.— Jo(ur)e De France (@joebyer) July 12, 2014
@TOMayorFord Pretty sure you've lost all your credibility in the fight against drugs.— Vin Heney (@vinheney) July 12, 2014
Toronto voters head to the polls on October 27.
With previous files
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