Democrat Harold Ford Jr., center, lunches at Sylvia's with friend Ron Blaylock, left, and state assemblyman Keith Wright, right in the Harlem neighborhood of New York, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010. Ford is contemplating challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for her seat.
Harold Ford feels he's been the victim of a "schmear" campaign and it has nothing to do with his bagel.
The former Tennessee Congressman who has relocated to Manhattan and is eying a possible challenge to Sen. Kristen Gillibrand made the slip of the tongue during a radio show in Albany this morning.
Speaking with interviewer Fred Dicker, Ford said “as you know, there’s been a schmear campaign about my position on some of the social issues. I’m pro-choice."
Dicker quickly asked "did you say smear or schmear?"
“I’m a little country, I apologize,” Ford said in a heavy southern accent, correcting to say "it's s-m-e-a-r."
Ford is making his first visit to New York's Capitol as he continues to publicly mull a possible Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
The former congressman from Tennessee was on an Albany radio show Monday morning. Later, he was greeting state workers and visitors at the capitol.
Ford visited Buffalo on Sunday as he tours New York state.
Ford says he hasn't made up his mind yet whether to run, but he says he'll take the next month or so to learn the issues affecting the state. He took a 30-day leave of absence from his job at Bank of America Merrill Lynch last week.