George Smitherman is continuing his attack on mayoral rival Coun. Rob Ford over a 2006 statement about AIDS.

"Yesterday Rob Ford refused to tell Torontonians if he still believed that communities at risk of HIV were unworthy of protection or help from their city. Today his campaign team confirmed that Rob Ford’s views had not changed," the former Liberal provincial cabinet minister said Thursday in a news release.

In a posting on Twitter, a social messaging service, the Rob Ford Team wrote Thursday: "RT @radiofreecanada: Smitherman should spend less time attacking Ford for telling truth about AIDS, more time coming up with actual policies. #voteto"

RT means "retweet," meaning the Ford campaign relayed the message to its followers rather than writing the content.

However, it later deleted the retweet. The original tweet still exists as of Thursday afternoon.

During a mayoral debate on Wednesday, Smitherman, the presumed frontrunner, attacked Ford for a 2006 statement made during a city council debate on funding the fight against AIDS. Ford voted against the move.

The councillor for Etobicoke said at the time: "It is very preventable. If you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn't get AIDS probably, that's the bottom line."

Ford didn't directly respond to Smitherman's point.

"You're talking about Rob Ford's character … I'm caring. I help these kids get out of gangs," he said at one point.

Ford also avoided reporters' questions on the topic in a scrum afterwards.

Ford's campaign team didn't respond to a CTV News request for comment on Thursday.