Ford declines Smitherman debate offer

The Rob Ford camp has turned down George Smitherman's one-on-one debate challenge, at least for now.

"We'll do it, but we're going to do it on our time, not George Smitherman's time," said Doug Ford, Ford's brother and campaign manager. Doug said the one-on-one debate won't happen before September 10, the last day for candidates to join the mayoral race (perhaps anticipating a candidacy announcement from a certain, late arrival).

Smitherman threw out the challenge last week on radio, and Ford promptly accepted, though said he was uncomfortable leaving out other candidates.

"I'll show up anywhere," Ford said. "I'll go in his [Smitherman's] backyard, but you have to understand my position. As a mayor, I want to encompass everybody."

After hearing Ford has (temporarily?) bowed-out from the debate, Smitherman said, "To see him now chickening out is very, very indicative of a man who is unable and unwilling to defend the things he's talking abut in this campaign."

But according to Doug Ford, Smitherman is the one "running scared."

"This is a Haily Mary pass for him. He's saying we're neck and neck but I can assure you that his polls are going down quicker than the Canadian bobsled team and Rob's polls are going up."

Smitherman responded by saying his best friend can beat up Rob Ford's best friend, to which Ford said "nuh-uh" and stomped off angrily, allegedly mumbling something about City Hall metropasses.

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