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. Joseph Claghorn

    If this is the kind of news we can look forward to for the next six weeks, no one is going to care come April 22. There will be a slew of resignations on both sides.

    March 12, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Den

    This is all so very fake. I hope the rest of the world can see that this is all staged by the Clinton camp. Give me a break.

    March 12, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. LisaMpls

    Scott C, Hillary did say she disagreed with Ms. Ferraro's comments, and the campaign has distanced themselves from Ms. Ferraro's comments. Obama didn't ask Power to step down...she did it on her own, just like Ms. Ferraro did here, so where is the difference?

    March 12, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. Jason in Juneau

    There's free speech and then there's being inappropriate and mis-using the media to put an untruth out on the air. If you speak on someone's behalf, you must be echoing their views. Does Hillary feel like Ferraro?

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

    Interesting...she still doesn't realize what she said that's so appalling.
    " am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself " – hum..does that mean she was speaking for the campaign earlier?

    March 12, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. Alexis

    Geraldine, youcan add this experience to your tiny blip in the history of American electoral politics.

    March 12, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. michael

    even the "resignation" letter of a disgraced surrogate is dripping with clintonian arrogance.

    March 12, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. jfs Memhis, Tn

    She did the right thing..............now lets get on.

    March 12, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. Ron Heegs

    Sad world. Go Clinton

    March 12, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. Chris-Seattle

    Hopefully your children and grandchildren will grow up to think differently than you!

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

    One less Race baiter in the Clinton Campaign.

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

    All I can say is good riddance to bad rubbish. I was hoping the Democratic party could take the high road and not perform like the republicans, but the clintons have brought this whole campaign to the gop gutter level. I personally wish Geraldine would take Hill and Bill with her – I don't care for any of their brand of politics. If they think stunts like this will win them votes, I think they're truly mistaken. I have grown to dislike the clintons even more than I dislike the bush admin.

    March 12, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. Troy, Seattel WA

    Gerry was right!

    March 12, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Chloe

    Everyone is racist if they speak out against Obama or do not vote for Obama!!!!

    March 12, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  15. Helena Montana

    As my mother used to say: "Good riddance to bad rubbish"!

    March 12, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  16. frozencustard

    Seriously Ms. Ferraro. The Obama campaign is not attacking you to hurt Sen. Clinton. The Obama campaign was responding to racist comments that you made. They have said absolutely nothing about you for the past year – until you put your foot in your mouth. So please stop playing the victim. Every time you say something, you end up generating more controversy. And we, the voters, see right through that. Please stop insulting us.

    March 12, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  17. Patrick

    Ferraro speaks the TRUTH!! I will not vote for Obama and his victim campaign that does not focus on issues and calls everything against him a racist attack!

    March 12, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  18. anne

    She does not get it at all.

    March 12, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  19. Hazel

    GOOD RIDDANCE

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

    I beleive Gerry's comment was calculated just as President Clinton's was before the South Carolina vote. If the Clinton Campaign can continue to portray Obama as the Black candidate, they can successfully put doubts in the mind of mainstream America that he would be unelectable in a general election against McCain. Of course Hillary and her campaign are not publicly objecting to the remarks or apologizing, it is part of the strategy. The best the Obama campaign can do is to continue to ignore these nonsense tactics and continue to rack up the delgates. Gerry was sacrificed for the campaign. They will drag out others for kamikaze stunts as we get closer to Pennsylvania.

    March 12, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  21. Roz, IL

    i find it totally disgusting that every time race is injected(usually on hills side) and it back fires, it's always the obamas camp fault. Ferraro,knew her statements were going to cause the reactions that they did, she just didn't care, and know she wants to blame the obama camp for her stupidity. whatever..i am a Obama supporter, but that doesn't matter, because no matter who the dem nominee is,they are not going to win. so get ready for another 4 yrs or repub rule

    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. Tracy

    Barack Hussien Obama has my full support, and I am a 40 year white woman in the State of Texas. Not ashamed to say his name at all.

    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. LatinoNation

    I see that Obama and his supporters are woman HATERS and its so true and what this woman has said is true neither of them would be in this race they are very lucky to be and yes if affirmative actions was not the case it would never have happened so HATE you women HATERS say it I know you will because you HATE ! you can never say anything Good even Obamas people are starting to be regular old politicians and all you did now is Hurt the Party and we are becoming more and more disliking because you dont shut up instead you drive us away so Mrs Clinton Take it its your to take or it will be McCains to take !!!

    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. My Brain, Los Angeles, CA

    Geraldine said that same stupid comment about Jesse Jackson in '88. Oops! I think I said that out loud! I'm glad she resigned, but the resignation doesn't seem to be to heartfelt. I forgot racist have no heart anyway. BYE-BYE Geraldine!

    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  25. Obama Doublespeak

    Why should Hillary have fired her? Obama didn't fire Powers. They both resigned. How is what Hillary is doing worse than Obama.

    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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