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Rob Ford's Chicago Trip Overshadowed By Football Controversy, Gaffes (TWITTER)


Rob Ford was probably hoping his trip to Chicago would be a respite from his woes back home in Toronto. No luck.

Toronto's Mayor was beset by controversy and gaffes on his first day leading a trade mission to the Windy City. Notably, Ford mixed up Windsor and Winnipeg and told reporters to "go home."

On a visit to the city's iconic Millennium Park on Tuesday Ford handed out business cards to tourists and gawkers and encouraged visits to Toronto. He got into a conversation with one woman which quickly took an embarrassing turn, according to the National Post.

After telling Ford she has been to Canada the mayor asked her whereabouts. "I don’t know, that part across from Detroit and the river," she said.

Ford responded: "Oh Manitoba! You were in Manitoba. Winnipeg?"

Corrected by reporters that the young woman likely meant Windsor not Winnipeg, Ford rolled with the punches and told her to come to Toronto since it's only four hours from the border city.

Users on Twitter were quick to attack the mayor, as they did earlier this year when actor Rob Lowe tweeted that Winnipeg was a "hellhole." You can check out some of the more hilarious tweets in the slideshow below.


Ford's geographical knowledge wasn't the only thing questioned on Tuesday. The controversy about whether the mayor has made improper use of city resources to help run the Don Bosco Eagles high school football team he coaches continued to dog him in Chicago.

"Go where you came from, man,” Ford said. “Holy smokes. Please. Holy crow. How does this create jobs?”

"The car that I paid for, right?" Ford said. "Do your homework. I paid for it last year." Toronto expense reports from 2011 show Ford has reimbursed the city for vehicle costs in the past, according to the Star.

More bizarrely, when asked about the usually sympathetic Toronto Sun referring to Ford's use of city funds as "gravy," the mayor responded with a question of his own: "Are you going to be sleeping with me tonight?"

We're not even going to speculate on what he meant.

Ford is on a high-profile trade mission to Chicago and has brought along a slew of high-profile business and political leaders. George Cohon, founder of McDonald's Canada and former Ontario premiers Ernie Eves and Mike Harris are among the delegation, according to the Post.

The trip isn't making headlines in Chicago, however, as that city's mayor, and former top advisor to Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel is busy dealing with a controversial teachers strike. Emanuel is seeking to make major changes to the city's troubled education system.

Ford is expected to meet with Emanuel on Wednesday.

While Chicago may be letting the visit go unnoticed, Ford is again making national headlines south of the border. The Wall Street Journal picked up on his visit Tuesday, referring to Ford as "Toronto’s colorful mayor."

And colourful he is. Despite the ongoing football controversy, Ford took time Tuesday night to meet with Chicago Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije, according to the Sun.

Ford also got involved in football on a recent visit to Alberta, where he accidentally walked into the Calgary Stampeders' locker room during a game. Ford even made a bet with Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel on a game between the Eskimos and Argonauts. Ford lost and put an Eskimos logo on his Facebook page to settle the wager.

It seems it will be much harder for Toronto's mayor to settle the ongoing allegations that he had been misusing city funds. But from the looks of things in Chicago, Ford won't be backing down any time soon.

Also on HuffPost

The Many Faces Of Rob Ford

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