March 11th, 2008
03:37 PM ET
6 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. Allen from Visalia

    Obama is where he is at because he is a self-made man who has catputed the imagination of the nation. The only reason Hillary is where she is at is because she married Bill. Just like the only reason W is president is because his daddy was president.

    March 11, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. Felix E. F. Larocca MD

    Only Bill and Hillary show the only "color" they respect, namely their "true colors".

    Opportunist, unsincere and venal - all the way to the White House to sell pardons wholesale!

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. Mac in Tampa

    Sadly, this "race" should not be about race, but you can't ignore that "it" has been happening. "It" has been all over media reports ever since South Carolina's spotlight in the primaries.

    Obama does not ignore "it" and seems to count on "it", even courting and protecting "it" in particulary "it" oriented areas.

    But... a big SHAME on anyone who even dares to mention "it".

    Maybe we don't like to hear "it", and maybe we should all continue to keep "it" under the rug, thereby continuing this charade.

    I happen to think Ms. Ferraro is entitled to her opinion, and she is voicing something that many are thinking, but do not dare say.

    Oh, and I'm thinking the Obama camp should also be upset that Ms. Ferraro is has maligned men with her statement – or are they only just concerned about the "it" part because it suits their purposes?

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. Trish

    Now you wonder why her presidential campaign is in such shamble. She has a knack in surrounding herself with people who are out of touch with reality Spitzer, Shaheen, Wolfson, McAullife, Rendell, now her, I guess they're pushing the victim card again.

    People really like people like themselves.

    Thank God for McCain, he looks better & better by the day.

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. Tori

    I think she is completely right. The only reason people are fired up about this is because she is saying what they are too afraid to.

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Kris

    I think the comment has merit, since Obama has no substance. His claims of change are arrogant and naive. His voting record is disgraceful and I mean his votes as present. How can he say he represents anything, when he doesn't even have the guts to stand up and vote. He is not qualified> Hillary is where she is because of her reocrd and that she has only missed 27% of the votes in Congress compared to the other Presidential candidates who have missed significantly more votes. Where are their priorities as Senators??? Oh yeh, they care about themselves more than their constituents they supposedly represent.

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. Manu, Pittsburgh, Pa

    The Clinton campaign sickens me... Dn't hold your breath for them to reject this racist comment... These people will stoop to anything to get elected...

    They did not reject Bob Johnson... They did not reject Stephanie Tubbs Jones.... They will not reject Ferraro...

    I pray Penna wakes up to the reality of the Clinton hypocracy...

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Hillary folks do you see a pattern here???? Hillary's wins are in the BIG DEMOCRATICALLY CONTROLLED MACHINE STATES. People that work for her are the politicians that are OLD TIME DEMOCRATS (as in this case). Other than a woman being in the Presidential position where could you possibly see change in WASHINGTON policies. Do you really think that by Hillary winning the same big DEMOCRATIC States is inclusive??? A democrat will win them anyway. The issue is that the Democrats have lost THE SMALL STATES repeatedly and then lose by small margins in BIG states. I am insulted that Senator Clinton has gotten her OLD CRONNIES together and have tried to STOP a new movement in this party...............You ask the OBAMA people step back and see what is going on...........I would ask that you HILLARY PEOPLE do the same and make your vote(the one thing of value left that we all have) and make it count. Stop squandering the rest of our futures with you narrow vision and frivilous uninformed voting!!!

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  9. Kelley

    Clinton wouldn't be where she is now if she hadn't been married to Bill, Just because there has been partisianship for 200 years doesn't mean it can't be changed. The country can change and improve with Obama.

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. Marguerite

    Why doesn't Hillary reject and condemn this remark and Ferraro's support? I mean, after all, she isn't a racist... as far as I know.

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. ann

    Let' see racist Ferrakahn and separatist church leader vs. geraldine ferraro...which is worse? hmmmmmmmmmmm...

    If this keeps up the Republicans will win.

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Sandy

    Sorry to tell you all but, its true. He is black and that is why he is doing as well as he is. If he was white, he would have been gone a long time ago.

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Charles

    Obama carries the message of hope for this country and, after the past 7 years debacle, we need to have hope in our future and right now that requires change. Elderly women fear change more than anything and that is where her racist comment stems from.

    But what has me wondering is what Hillary's take is on Spitzer? Maybe she should offer the VP spot to him?

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. tango

    Why is it that if someone from Obama camp said Hillary is a monster she needs to resign, but when someone from Clinton's camp made a more offensive racist remark, nothing happens?????

    I think the media is too soft on Hillary just because she complaint you guys are too hard on her???!!! If she is nominated and the media is at her like they are now doing with Bush, who is she going to whine to???

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. Lady for Obama

    HRC should repudiate, reject, and denounce the comment.

    Doesn't anyone understand that the more people try to throw the 'race' or 'gender' card down, the more we perpetuate that inequality? Ughh this is frustrating.

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  16. Mike B

    If the "monster" comment forced an advisor out so should this.

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. Kay, Columbus, Ohio

    Racist !! The country moved away from these old idea.

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. t242

    "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,”

    Riiiiight. I was reading an article that said Republicans were voting for Hillary in Ohio to give McCain a shot at the White House.

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. zona

    If an Obama advisor resigned (and apologized) after her "monster" remark in reference to Clinton, then Ferraro should do the same. Clinton goes on the attack mode when negative comments are being thrown at her, but blows off anthing her own people do.

    Obama's position has nothing to do with the race card, but everything to do with people wanting change. America doesn't want another Clinton era; they want Obama-and not because he is bi-racial.

    March 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. Hill Supporter from Minnesota

    Ferraro is right and it's about time someone addressed reality. Who in the democratic party thought, so soon after 911, we would be ready for someone called Obama and on top of that, a little known candidate to those outside of the Washington beltway. I go with what's been tested and by that I mean someone known from years of work within the party, not someone Kerry, Dashel, and Kennedy promote because he is African American and no history outside of Chicago.

    Thanks, Ms. Ferraro and don’t apologize. If 80% of African Americans are voting for Obama because he's black and have said so, then how can this primary not be about race?

    March 11, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. Eric (Acworth, GA)

    Ms. Farraro's comments are as ridiculous as the notion that Sen. Obama should be No. 2 on the Democratic ticket. If Barack Obama were a a 46 year-old white man, this nomination would have been sewn up on February 5. Billary would have dropped out on February 6 and we'd be planning an inauguration already. A Black man getting unfairly favorable treatment in American politics? HA! That's rich!

    March 11, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. betagreg

    "...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."

    Sad, this is what is wrong with the Clinton mindset – that the way things have been is the way things will always have to be. The attraction of Obama is a hope that things can be better in the future, whereas Clinton represents a continuation of the divisive status quo.

    March 11, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. cindy

    How is Clinton still getting away with saying she won TX? After the caucus votes are tallied in he beat her. Why is the media not all over this? Right now winning the two big states "TX and Ohio" is about all she has going for her – and that's a lie. Shouldn't somebody call her on this?

    March 11, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Jihad

    By the name of Allah and Muslim prays bama will be nominated by DNC and America's next President!
    The Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Iran, Somalia where he has his picture taken with his turban, Endonesia where he used to live and etc. will dance on the streets the day he becomes President and Obama presidency will be the end of Israel's power in the Middle East!

    March 11, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. Kristy

    She is right! The media is so biased towards Hillary. Although I am not Hillary nor Obama's supporter, I agree that Obama will not have this kind of momentum if he were a white man or woman! The history will tell that! Dear God, please help America!

    March 11, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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