March 11th, 2008
05:27 PM ET
6 years ago

Ferraro: 'They're attacking me because I'm white'

(CNN) – Geraldine Ferraro is defending her controversial comment that Barack Obama’s campaign was successful because he was black, telling an interviewer Tuesday that she was being attacked because she was white.

"Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up," she told the (Torrance, California) Daily Breeze. "Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?"

In another interview Tuesday, she compared Obama’s situation to her own 24 years ago, when she was the first female candidate for vice president.

She told a FOX News interviewer: “I got up and the question was asked, ‘Why do you think Barack Obama is in the place he is today” as the party’s delegate frontrunner.

“I said in large measure, because he is black. I said, Let me also say in 1984 – and if I have said it once, I have said it 20, 60, 100 times – in 1984, if my name was Gerard Ferraro instead of Geraldine Ferraro, I would never have been the nominee for vice president,” she said.

In her first interview with Daily Breeze, published late last week, Ferraro said
"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept," Ferraro told the newspaper. She also said Hillary Clinton had been the victim of a “sexist media.”

Obama himself has called the comments “patently absurd,” and his chief strategist, David Axelrod, has called for Clinton to cut ties with the former New York congresswoman, who serves on her campaign’s finance committee. Clinton has said that she does not agree with Ferraro’s remarks.

UPDATE: Clinton campaign spokesman Mo Eleithee told CNN's Sasha Johnson that "Ms. Ferraro is speaking for herself. We have made clear that we do not agree with her remarks."

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Teresa in Kansas

    "Because she is white."

    YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!

    The Clinton's are trying to make everything about race...how sad.

    March 11, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  2. jamal

    It's not because your white, Racism has no place in Obama's Campaign! Resign while you can

    March 11, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  3. Teresa in Kansas

    Ferraro just kissed her politcal career good-bye!

    March 11, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  4. Jay

    Honey, we're attacking Maggie Wlliams too.

    Last time I checked, she isn't white.

    So much for Geraldine limiting herself to one foolish comment per day.

    March 11, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  5. Young=Internet=Obama

    I know everyone on here will call her racist. But the honest tuth is she is NOT and has done SO MUCH for minorities around this country and is simply stating a fact. "First Black President" has been on everyone's lips forever just as "First Woman President" has. The difference is that one is qualified to do the job and the other is not. The unqualified candidate just happens to be the same race as 50% of his party members.

    so be mad young and fanatic voters but its true

    March 11, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. Judy

    She needs to just stop starting to explain her words. She said it move on. She is digging deeper and deeper. Next we will here she lost her bid for Prez because she was old. She lost because of comments like this.

    March 11, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. Internet is Pro Obama anyhow

    I know everyone on here will call her racist. But the honest tuth is she is NOT and has done SO MUCH for minorities around this country and is simply stating a fact. "First Black President" has been on everyone's lips forever just as "First Woman President" has. The difference is that one is qualified to do the job and the other is not. The unqualified candidate just happens to be the same race as 50% of his party members.

    so be mad young and fanatic voters but its true

    March 11, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  8. sacto joe

    I am SO GLAD I'm an Obama support. As a life-long Democrat, I'd be MORTIFIED to be a Clinton supporter right now!

    March 11, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  9. NickNasc

    Careful you don't judge me too quickly. I come form a family of Vets , my Father, Uncles, Myself all fought in Combat for this Country and my Daughter Just got Back from Iraq. Now read on......

    I have been literally ASHAMED to be part of this country.. YES I said it!! If you don't like it change the Channel. MANY people have been feeling the same way but are afraid to say it. Try traveling around the world and see how you are looked at being from here. BUSH ( and NO I did NOT vote for that Idiot) has ruined most of what we had to be proud of.

    If Hillary gets the racist ignorant side of this country to vote her in then Once again I will be living in SHAME! The WORLD is watching and we are looking like Idiots right now. CNN loves it , it sells Commercials so don't blame them.

    You people cannot deny this. Hillary has turned outright nasty and unrespectable. I haven't seen this much racial commentary from high level officials since the 60's.

    If it works it is just for ONE reason and we all know it. Even Hillary can't talk as much about herself as you people do because there is not all that much to say. The only way to win is to play on Race Race Race and oh don't forget. Bill will be there to Catch me if I fall on my face.

    March 11, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  10. Say what you want

    I know everyone on here will call her racist. But the honest tuth is she is NOT and has done SO MUCH for minorities around this country and is simply stating a fact. "First Black President" has been on everyone's lips forever just as "First Woman President" has. The difference is that one is qualified to do the job and the other is not. The unqualified candidate just happens to be the same race as 50% of his party members.

    so be mad young and fanatic voters but its true

    No more SUPERLIBERAL candidates who WONT WIN!

    March 11, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  11. Ron

    YEAH HILLARY and FERARRO 08 FIGHTERS FOR AMERICA

    March 11, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  12. Sharon of Illinois

    Please lady – shut up and go away.

    March 11, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  13. HH

    Geraldine WHO..... OH thats right Geraldine and Mondale the duo that carried 1 state and DC in the 84 Presidential election.

    March 11, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  14. Alexandria, VA

    Wow. It's like the Clinton campaign is just falling down the steps. And here come MS results...

    March 11, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  15. lilahenna

    THANK YOU G FERRARO,
    I ADMIR YOU FOR YOUR COMMITMENT TO THIS NATION.
    YOU ARE A GREAT SERVANT FOR OUR COUNTRY, I AM PROUD
    OF YOU DECENCY AND HUMILITY.

    GOOOOOOOOOO HILLARY
    THE HOPE OF USA AND WORLD

    March 11, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  16. Cindy

    I now think she's nutz. I'm sorry I voted for her.

    March 11, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  17. Mike

    ok obama supporters... let her have it because it is not right to have an opinion... or talk about how hard it has been for a woman to get standing in the world today... how they are consistently looked at as the weaker and emotional sex... according to many men's views unable to handle the daily grind as president...

    How is this any different than all of the "race" talks... how is she different???

    March 11, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  18. Amen Sister

    Good for you Geraldine. It's about time somebody stood up and said what millions think everyday. People are tired of not being able to say anything in this country without a label being put on it by somebody.

    March 11, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  19. hjlk

    Go,girl. Truth hurts.

    March 11, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  20. Amy in Iowa

    No one is attacking Ferraro because she is white. She is being criticized because she made a racist statement. If she wants to resort to playing the victim card like Hillary, it is a sad day for women in this country.

    Ferraro made a dumb statement. Own up to it, apologize, and move on.

    March 11, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  21. MARCO HERRERA

    OOOH A WHITE LADY USING THE RACE CARD.... SHE THROWS THE STONE AND HIDES HER HAND.

    March 11, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  22. Debbie, Chicago, IL

    There are alot of people who agree with Ferraro but are afraid to say it because of being called racist.

    Why isn't anyone calling the media out on being sexist? The media has jumped all over Hillary like a fish to water. Has Obama come out to rebuke the sexist nature of the media – I don't think so – so if you can't take the heat, get out of the fire. Obama is SO LIGHTWEIGHT!

    March 11, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  23. SAM - CommonSense

    I guess you are being attacked because your ideas are out of touch! Even Clinton thinks you were wrong. Is Hillary and her campaign saying you are racist, then? or they might be picking on you too because you are white and an old woman? its time to move past racism and sexism in our societies!
    Vote OBAMA 08!

    March 11, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  24. Dave

    Ferraro is being attacked for making a nasty comment, plain and simple. Hillary has not been the victim of sexist media, she is a victim of herself, and asking for trouble with a nasty campaign.

    Encouraging a negative campaign and them complaining when people point it out is why many people really dislike Hillary and might call her names. Hillary is the first to complain when ANYONE insults her, but then will not denounce her own supporters when they call others names or insult them.

    March 11, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  25. Adam, Los Angeles

    OH NO SHE DIDN'T!!!!! She does realize she represents Los Angeles? If I was her I'd start planning my retirement–maybe even write my last will and testament.

    March 11, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
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