Former state representative and potential mayoral candidate Vincent Fort is responding to comments made by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Friday.
After a reporter mentioned Fort's name, Reed took several minutes out of a news conference to blast the possible candidate.
11Alive gave Fort the opportunity to respond to those comments on Friday. Here's what he said to reporter Jon Shirek:
On why the mayor had such harsh words for him:
"I believe City Hall has lost its way. I believe City Hall has forgotten about regular people. It's more concerned with billionaires and mega-projects. I assume that the mayor doesn't like that message -- that City has lost its way, but I firmly believe it. This isn't about personal attacks. This is about what we can do for the people of the city of Atlanta."
On Reed's comment that Fort "used his senate position and sat in my office, right there in that chair, and pleaded for a job for his son?":
"This mayor knows what he is seeing is at variance from the truth. I'm not going to get into specifics of that. I'm not going to divert my attention from serving the people of Atlanta."
When Shirek asked if Fort asked the mayor for a job for his son, Fort said, "It's more involved than that. I'm not going to get into specifics of conversations between myself and the mayor. The fact of the matter is, he knows that my son was an employee at the City of Atlanta, did his job, did it well and was well-liked by his co-workers."
On Reed's attacks of Fort's personal finances:
"The fact is that he can make whatever personal attacks he would like. This is about the people of the city of Atlanta and who is going to best serve them. The fact of the matter is City Hall has problems. There are three criminal investigations going on, and I understand why the mayor would want to talk about me as opposed to what's happening at City Hall. I say City Hall has lost its way. The U.S. Attorney and the Department of Justice and the F.B.I. agree with me. That's why the mayor wants to talk about me and not talk about what's best for the people of Atlanta."
On burying the hatchet with Mayor Reed:
"I am focused on one thing and one thing only: becoming the next mayor of the city of Atlanta, so we can change the policies from the policies of this administration, which has ignored what's best for the people of Atlanta and has been concerned with with big shots, millionaires, billionaires, and that kind of thing. That's the only thing I'm focused on. I'm not focused on Mayor Reed as he's focused on me."
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