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. Mat From FL

    I am deeply bothered by the fact that people confusing the words racial and racist. Her comments were racial but not racist. The fact that she had to stepped down saddens me because it shows how far this campaign has gone.
    In either case I am glad that she never apologized for her comments. She should stand by what she said and the fact that she is free now to talk I am expecting to here more from her. It is time for the media to stop silencing and keeping everything hush hush to try to be PC.

    March 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  2. lbr, jersey city, nj

    HURRAY GERALDINE!!!!!. DO THAT BECAUSE OTHERWISE EVERYONE WILL BE SCARED TO TELL THE TRUTH. WHAT YOU SAID WAS REALLY THE TRUTH. SO I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL. DO WE REALLY HAVE TO HANDLE THEM WITH GENTLE CARE ALL THE TIME? WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

    I APPLAUD WHAT YOU DID. YOU DON'T NEED TO APOLOGIZE. YOU DID NOT SAY ANYTHING THAT IS NOT TRUE. I HOPE THERE WILL BE MORE PEOPLE LIKE YOU

    March 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. O Canadian

    Geraldine who? What century? Too bad she didn't notice the world moved on from this kind of stuff. That's the real essence of her comments. Ten years ago, your country certainly wouldn't have moved a black man forward just because he was black. That's more insulting to the American people than it is to Obama!!

    March 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. JDB

    I've never been so ashamed of my party and what Hillary Clinton has done to it.

    March 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. Leslie

    Why do all the crazies type in all caps and include approximately 4382 exclamation points in their comments?

    March 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. John

    Ms Ferraro.

    Perhaps your remarks would not have been taken so poorly if they had been original. Unfortunately, you were simply repeating the exact same statement you made in 1988 about Jesse Jackson.

    Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. You, Ms. Ferraro, are a racist.

    March 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. MickyD10

    v.a.

    And what alternate reality do you live in?

    March 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. marrig

    This woman is absolutely dreadful – no judgment whatsoever. However, it is not surprising that Hillary didn't do much to bring a halt to her ongoing comments. That may have been big mistake on HRC's part.

    March 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. forhillary

    I am a Hillary supporter and NO ONE from the Obama campaign "attacked you."

    You shouldn't have said what you said and you know it... you said the same kind of comments in '88.

    Grow up. Go work for the Republicans.

    March 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. Steve

    Dear Geraldine;

    Good bye and good riddance. Can you take Billary with you..

    March 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. srobe

    I think the curtains are opening and showing who the Clintons are. I am an African American woman anda Dem. I have never, never voted Republican, if she wins the nomination, I will vote for John McCain. I dont trust her, birds of the same feathers flock together.

    March 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. Skeeve, NYC, NY

    You know... these tit for tat resignations are rather childish and ridiculous... we are not in high school, really

    March 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Desiree

    I think it's sad how David Axelrod and the Obama camp are using this to their advantage and ruining the reputation of Ms Ferraro. Any one who knows her knows she is not racist, I feel sad for this country.

    March 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. Mike Brian

    What a pity, you can only resign to say the truth

    March 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. Smart1

    I THINK ALL OF THESE "ADVISERS" ON BOTH SIDES JUST NEED TO SHUT THEIR PIE HOLE!

    THEY ARE NOT HELPING EITHER PARTY!

    March 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. LIZ KEESEE

    Racism and Sexism has abounded in this campaign. Neither will UNITE a country.

    March 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. Gawania

    Marie Herrera if you are that prejudice that you would leave the democrat party rather than vote for a black candidate go on.

    March 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. Sabrina, Las Vegas, NV

    You're setting women back 10

    March 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. BOB

    RUN GERRY RUN!!!

    March 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. Joshua

    I'm sick and tired of Obummer's race card issues.

    March 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. Keith

    The Clintons have shown their true colors as of late. America wake up and see these folks for what they are. Are they racists? Probably not but they sure know when to strategically play the race stuff. Goodbye Gerry and hopefully the same regarding Hillary.

    March 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  22. Brian

    The comments WERE factual, not racist. Sorry that she stepped down, actually.

    March 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    She should step down, it is no less than what they have demanded from the Obama campaign when someone has said something that Clinton does not feel is appropriate. Clinton has two sets of standards. She needs to quit whining and get on with it or get out.

    March 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  24. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Another fine example of the obstacles facing the Democratic party. They are so burdened by the tender feelings of so many socio-centric groups...they are being torn apart.

    Clearly–not factual truth this is not 100 percent politically correct can ever be discussed. No wonder our congress is impotent to accomplish anything of value.

    March 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  25. Dylan from CA

    Good riddance! ...Now take Hillary with you before she completely destroys the party!

    March 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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