March 11th, 2008
03:37 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama camp calls for Clinton to drop Ferraro

 Ferraro is a supporter of Hillary Clinton.
Ferraro is a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

(CNN) - Barack Obama’s chief strategist said Tuesday that a comment by one of Hillary Clinton’s top fundraisers that Barack Obama would not be a major presidential contender if he were not black – coupled with Clinton’s “own inexplicable unwillingness" to deny that he was a Muslim during a recent interview – indicated “an insidious pattern that needs to be addressed."

David Axelrod called on the New York senator to drop former New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro from her finance committee. "When you wink and nod at offensive statements you're really sending a signal to your supporters that anything goes," said Axelrod.

Ferraro, the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee in 1984, told the (Torrance, California) Daily Breeze that "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 said the New York senator had suffered because the press "has been uniquely hard on her. It's been a very sexist media. Some just don't like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign."

"I was reading an article that said young Republicans are out there campaigning for Obama because they believe he's going to be able to put an end to partisanship,” she added. “Dear God! Anyone that has worked in the Congress knows that for over 200 years this country has had partisanship – that's the way our country is."

Full story

(Update at 2:15 with Obama campaign comments, context)

– CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (490 Responses)
  1. Mike, Toronto

    Immagine Obama's campaign declaring that Sen. Clinton wouldn't be where she is now if her skin wasn't white and she wasn't a woman – WOW!

    March 11, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Vidhya

    So what? We all have a right to say what we feel like, and no-one should be REPUDIATED for that! Enough already!!!! Please move on to something more constructive.

    March 11, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. L. Tran, TX

    No one can control what his/her supporters can say or do. They do speak their minds, intentionally or not. A monster and a lucky black dude, anything else from the high profile elites ?

    March 11, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. Christian, Tampa FL

    Enough is enough. When you have a tumor, you cut it out, right? Well, the Democratic party has a big tumor, and her name is Hillary Clinton. She is threatening the stability and unity of the party all for the sake of her power. It seems increasingly evident that the only way for her to win the nomination would be to steal it. And she has the nerve to offer the VP slot to the frontrunner.

    Hillary has a chance to bow out with grace and dignity and guarantee that she is a party leader for the rest of her life. Instead of taking that change, she is poised to destroy the party.

    March 11, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. Mom in PA

    When Mrs. and Mr. Clinton started to "trash talk" about Mr. Obama, about his religion and his race, they opened this negative talk and they seemed to welcome it. It is all about throwing the kitchen sink. If Hillary makes it obvious that she will do and say anything to win, she welcomes other people to do it also. This is her fault. Hillary needs to close the gate on people say such negative things and reject their support.

    I am proud to support Obama.

    March 11, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. Bill Mosby

    I seem to remember she got into a flap back in 1988 with a remark to the effect that "that's how Italian men are" or some such. Or am I thinking of something else?

    March 11, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. Pamela, Chicago, IL

    There goes Hillary again trying to have it both ways. She blasts Barack Obama for not denoucing certain endorsements yet she and her surrogates continue to race bait. Hillary, you cannot have it both ways. In this age of YouTube, blogs and 24 hour news outlets, this will not die in one news cycle. "Woman Up" repudiate, denounce and distance yourself from these comments forcefully like the fighter you claim to be or your have lost this woman's vote. Better, yet...if you love NY so much, run for Governor of NY. I heard a spot is opening up.

    March 11, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  8. Lavenia King

    Why should she repudiate the comment? It's a fact. It is only because he represents blacks that he has gotten as far as he has. He doesn't have any experience to do the job. We know most of the people that were running for the position. This guy suddenly shows up on the scene and wants a piece of the pie. It's not fair. Hillary Clinton has worked very hard to get where she has gotten. He should wait his turn. This election has just been handed to him on a silver platter while he has never done anything significant to help the American people. Hillary, on the other hand, has been working hard for years to help others. What has America come to? People are so sick and tired of the war that they are gullable voters.

    March 11, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. Harvard Alumni for Obaqma

    During this whole contest there have been racial undertones from the Clinton campaign, and I find it surprising that this doesn't bother her supporters. And the best Wolfson can come up with was "the campaign disagrees with her remarks"? Why can't people see what this campaign really is about, it's about Hillary and NOT the American people!

    Obama '08
    YES WE CAN!

    March 11, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. tony

    Ferrarro is just a bitter woman.

    March 11, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Will, Fort Myers

    How can Hillary and he campaign force Powers to drop her role with the Obama camp and NOT force one of their own out? Doesnt seem like they truely disrespect the comment.
    Typical Hillary

    March 11, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. Bouba NY

    ..She should know better....get her out

    March 11, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. Ben, MA

    And if Hillary was not a woman would she be in her position? What if her last name was not Clinton? Who knows. These type of questions are irrelevant. How about looking at the candidates, their qualities, their positions, and their ability to lead. The Clinton campaign does not understand that Americans are SICK of these type of politics. Obama represents hope and change, it's not about race or anything else.

    March 11, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. Danielle

    These are not Hillary's comments or her campaign staff's comments. Her campaign spokesman has already said the campaign disagrees. That's enough right there.

    Why should Hillary respond personally when all the media will do is find some way to twist around her comment into something she didn't say?

    Be fair and objective.

    March 11, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. Denis van Dam

    Of course, she and her campaign should repudiate Ferraro's comment, which is somehow a racist one. But Hillary will not do it, we know the kind of arrogant person she is.....

    March 11, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. Mark (tampa)

    Thats really messed up, she ought to flat out "reject" her support after that type of comment. Thats far FAR worse than even the person that called Clinton a "monster". Gotta love the closet racists who just pretend to be ok with civil rights too.

    March 11, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. Doug, DC

    Should we linked Hillary's surrogate's comments to her own beliefs like her campaign does to Obama?? Karma always has a way of rearing it's ugly head!!

    I guess Hillary believes that it has nothing to do with the fact that she ran a poor campaign or it has nothing to do with the fact that people are looking for something new and Obama represents that. She believes it only has to do with the fact that Obama is a BLACK MAN!! Way to go Hillary. You keep giving us more than enough reason to vote for Obama!!

    March 11, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. w.muir@comcast.net

    Ferraro: "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."
    Sounds to me like an updated version of "Wait your turn, BOY". If it had been uttered by anyone else the (justifible) outrage would be lead story news.

    March 11, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Channell

    This contest has shown people's true colors and divided this country in the worst way. A. Harrison, I agree...put a muzzle on them already!

    Obama 08!

    March 11, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. nick

    Another reason why we never elected this idiot!

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. J

    Is this the same woman, who wanted to be Vice President. Wow!. And to think that these poeple have an open mind. A racist always a racist. Ferraro just showed us who she really is.

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. Mel

    I find it funny that the second Obama's race is attacked, the public goes into this frenzy when no one evens blinks an eye when Sen. Clinton's gender is made the butt of jokes. It's a double standard, and I don't understand why we can't just look at their qualifications. Because, if you did, I think everyone would be voting for Clinton instead of this man with hardly the experience she has. Ferraro's right... this has been a sexist media.

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. WI for Hillary

    Why is this considered racist?

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. ElenaL

    Here's another concept for you Ms. Ferraro...because of the circus that is the Democratic Party, esp. in this Presidential election, maybe the Oval office will remain with the Republicans!

    Of course you would prefer that everyone be "caught up" in the Clinton campaign... it's election time, the voters should be caught up somewhere lady!

    "He happens to be very lucky to be who he is." I'm not an Obama supporter, but that's not much nicer than Samantha saying Mrs. Clinton is a "monster". Anyway you look at it, it's a bit racist!

    "Some just don't like her. " I'm definitely not a Clinton supporter... but at least you got that right!

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. To Matt, Manchester, CT

    Your comment "Don't pay this crazy broad any mind" just proved that Geraldine Ferraro's concern about sexism is true and warranted. I can clearly tell by your comments that you have no respect for women, especially elderly women.

    You're a disgrace to the human race. Forgive me. I jumped hastily to a conclusion by calling you human.

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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