Former Toronto mayor says Rob Ford makes him look like a genius

When you get zinged by Mel Lastman, boy have you been zinged.

The former gaffe-prone mayor of Toronto says that current Mayor Rob Ford is making him look like a genius.

"All I know is since I've left [politics], I look like a genius," Lastman said Wednesday at the opening of his newest Bad Boy furniture store in Brampton, according to the Toronto Sun.

"I'm not a genius, obviously, but he makes me look like one. I know him, he's stubborn and stubborn sometimes is good, but not constantly. You can't be that stubborn and run a city."

[ Related: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford thinks Manitoba is next to Detroit ]

That's a pretty significant rebuke considering it came from 'Mayor Mel.'

While Lastman, the charismatic founder of the Bad Boy furniture chain, was loved by many, he — like Ford — had his share of controversies.

Mel once threatened to kill TV reporter turned city councillor Adam Vaughan for covering a story about Lastman's wife who got caught for shoplifting.

"Leave my family alone!" Lastman shouted across the council floor according to Toronto Life.

"If you don't leave them alone, I'll kill you!"

In 2001, Lastman went on CNN to complain about the World Health Organization SARS travel advisory for Toronto.

He said, "They don't know what they're talking about. I don't know who this group is, I never heard of them before. I'd never seen them before."

In 2009, the Toronto Star published a list of top Mel Lastman quotes. The best on the list was this nugget from 2001 when Lastman was promoting Toronto's Olympic bid.

"What the hell would I want to go to a place like Mombasa for?...I just see myself in a pot of boiling water with all these natives dancing around me."

What is it with Torontonians electing colourful, not always politically correct mayors who sometimes say really dumb things?

[ Related: Toronto's Rob Ford the latest in a line of controversial, colourful Canadian mayors ]

Maybe there's a future for Rob Anders in T.O.?

Ford-isms - Some old quotable quotes from Rob Ford:

June 14, 2005 - During a city council debate about grant programs for transgendered and transsexual people:

"I don't understand. No. 1, I don't understand a transgender, I don't understand, is it a guy dressed up like a girl or a girl dressed up like a guy? And we're funding this for, I don't know, what does it say here? We're giving them $3,210?"

June 2006 - During a council debate on public-health grants for community-based AIDS-prevention programs:

"If you're not doing needles, and you are not gay, you wouldn't get AIDS probably, that's the bottom line. These are the facts."

March 5, 2008 - During a debate over holiday shopping:

"Those Oriental people work like dogs. … They're slowly taking over."