Harold Ford, Jr. questioned about bonus on Meet the Press

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Former Memphis Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. is getting more and more entrenched in New York politics.

Sunday on Meet the Press, Ford participated in a roundtable discussion about the Obama Administration, but the topic quickly turned to his possible run to represent the Big Apple in the senate.

When asked if he would reveal the amount he received as a bonus from Merrill Lynch, Ford pointed out he had yet to announce his candidacy.

"If I become a candidate," Ford said, "the simple answer is yes."

Ford then explained his work with Merrill Lynch.

"I had a contract with Merrill Lynch, I had certain things I had to do to satisfy that and I was paid," Ford said.  "I make no bones about it.  New York City and New York State depend heavily on Wall Street.  I'm a believer the system ought to be reformed."

But Meet the Press host David Gregory did not let up.

"If I run for office, I'll talk about all of those things," Ford said.

Memphis Flyer Senior Editor Jackson Baker was the first reporter in the country to reveal Ford got a Merrill Lynch bonus.  He said the Tennessee native has a few hills to climb.

"There's the Merrill Lynch bonus, there's the New York State taxes he hasn't paid, there's the carpetbagger issue in general and there's the switching around on various issues," Baker said.

But Baker said Ford's potential opponent stands in the shadow.

"After Hillary Clinton left, they don't have a star there anymore," Baker said.  "This Kirsten Gillibrand is not a star."

Baker said the age of television and internet requires stars.

"If there is anyone who is talented enough to explain away what are supposed to be embarrassing situations, it is Harold Ford, Jr," Baker said.

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