March 12th, 2008
05:05 PM ET
6 years ago

Breaking: Ferraro steps down

Ferraro stepped down after several days of controversial remarks.
Ferraro stepped down after several days of controversial remarks.

(CNN) – Geraldine Ferraro has stepped down from her role as a member of Hillary Clinton's finance committee.

In a letter to Clinton obtained by CNN's Suzanne Malveaux - who spoke with the former vice presidential candidate shortly after she sent it to Clinton - Ferraro said she is stepping down so, "I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what is at stake in this campaign."

In a phone conversation with Malveaux, Ferraro said she was not asked to step down by Senator Clinton or her campaign.

Ferraro said thousands of people are part of the finance committee, saying it is not a staff position, but a voluntary one for those who raise money for the campaign. She also said she has raised $125,000 for Senator Clinton.

When asked if she had any regrets about what she said, Ferraro replied, "absolutely not."

"I am who I am and I will continue to speak up," she said. She added that she thought it was a shame that the Obama campaign was trying to block her First Amendment rights, and that she felt that was no way to conduct a campaign.

She said, "it's not me slicing and dicing," a reference to Obama's comments earlier in the day accusing Ferraro of dividing the party.

Ferraro said David Axelrod, Obama's campaign manager and an acquaintance, should have called her to ask her the intention of her remarks, which she says the Obama campaign used to hurt Clinton.

When asked how she felt about Hillary Clinton distancing herself from her remarks, Ferraro replied, "I am perfectly fine," and that there were no hard feelings. She said she understands what Clinton is going through, and understands that being part of a presidential campaign is "very hard."

Full letter:

Dear Hillary –

I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what is at stake in this campaign.

The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you. I won't let that happen.

Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to make this a better world for my children and grandchildren.

You have my deep admiration and respect.

Gerry

(Updated 6 p.m. ET with additional reporting.)

CNN's Matt Hoye contributed to this report.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. John M.

    "I'm stepping down so I can continue spread racist blather and finish tarnishing my legacy in order to help your campaign race-bait without being blamed for it. Thank you."

    March 12, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. Eric

    Melodramatic.

    March 12, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. michelle becker

    another one bites the dust

    March 12, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. dallasiteforhillary

    Yea for Gerry-. Well said.

    March 12, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. Lauren

    GOOD BYE! It's about time, thats for sure. She started the battle, NOT OBAMA.

    March 12, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. Bruce

    Who cares what Geraldine thinks or says at this point? She was history BEFORE she missed a wonderful opportunity to keep her mouth shut. And why in heaven's name is this getting so much press coverage. We don't CARE.

    March 12, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. julie, ca

    Pathetic letter. Hilary should have shown some LEADERSHIP and RESPONSIBILITY for her campaign and asked her immediately to resign. Obama showed good judgement when we asked his advisor to resign. Another good judgement on behalf of Obama. Poor judgement, Clinton.

    March 12, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. Mike Brian

    What a pity for the democrat party!

    You can only resign to say the truth!

    March 12, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Fahd Mumtaz

    It's not that Obama is attacking you, it's that everyone can see that you've made a fool of yourself. Your comments were out of line... you know it, Senator Clinton knows it & best of all the people know it

    So stop pointing fingers and playing the blame game... take responsibility for your words and act your age

    You thought you could say this and get away with it. It was a cheap down-market & mean spirited thing for you to do. We didn't expect this from a woman of your standing... And now you're throwing a 'hissy fit'

    Get a life...

    March 12, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. SN

    I await HC's statement that she both "denounces" and "rejects" Ferraro's comments. But I'm not holding my breath.

    March 12, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. Adam, Los Angeles

    Good! She was really starting to get on my last nerve!

    March 12, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. Mary

    Another example of a Clinton supporter twisting a story to try to appear as the victim. How sad!

    March 12, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. Carl Fraizer, Mountain Home Idaho

    Good! Good riddance to bad garbage. Now we just need Hillary to get out of the way and let true progress happen! I never want to see another Clinton or Bush run for anything!

    March 12, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  14. bymyside

    See ya!

    Your bitterness and divisiveness should have no place in this campaign or in our politics.

    Take responsibility for your own actions.
    That is what we teach our children and our grandchildren.

    March 12, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. Kiwi Pete

    I don't think she's racist. She was attacking the media, after all, and accusing them of racial bias, albeit positive.

    I do think she should shut up, or at least get some medication, before she does anymore damage.

    March 12, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. Carolina Gal

    What happened to FREEDOM OF SPEECH!
    What she said was the truth as she saw it. Many other seemed to agree with her. What's wrong with that?.

    March 12, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. flashback

    Come Clean, Geraldine !!!!

    March 12, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. Beth

    Another racist.... done gone........... Ferraro is soooo yesterday

    March 12, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. Independent Voter

    What happened to our first ammendment? Isn't free speech protected by the US constitution?

    March 12, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. KLJ

    Sorry to see a voice of reason leave the campaign, but she's right: she can do more good as an independent voice of reason. Any one who thinks race is not a factor is NOT paying attention...A junior senator with a mainstream, mediocre record? Spare me!

    March 12, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Chuck in Bama

    HERE! HERE! Grace. Well written. Right on the nose.

    March 12, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. Bob

    Good call, the best thing to do... big head

    March 12, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. johnny

    What a disgusting letter. Mark my words, this divisiveness will hand John McCain the White House. Show some decency (for once) and just drop out Hillary.

    Your presence is doing more harm to the nation than good.

    March 12, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. Corey

    Gerry's comments were awful, unnecessary and just untrue. This is no time for such divisive attacks. See ya!

    March 12, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Dean

    The Obama campaign paying the race card to shut people's real voice for his background and question for him, he's behavior is so ugly.

    March 12, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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