May 30th, 2008
10:20 AM ET
6 years ago

Ferraro: Reagan Dems find Obama campaign 'frightening'

Ferraro has been outspoken on race and gender issues during the primary season.
Ferraro has been outspoken on race and gender issues during the primary season.

(CNN) - Geraldine Ferraro – who sparked controversy earlier this year with her comment that Barack Obama was only a viable presidential candidate because he was black – wrote in an op-ed published Friday that the Illinois senator’s campaign and the media may be responsible for “the effects of racism and sexism on the campaign [which] have resulted in a split within the Democratic Party that will not be easy to heal before election day.”

“Perhaps it's because neither the Barack Obama campaign nor the media seem to understand what is at the heart of the anger on the part of women who feel that Hillary Clinton was treated unfairly because she is a woman or what is fueling the concern of Reagan Democrats for whom sexism isn't an issue, but reverse racism is,” the former Democratic vice presidential candidate wrote in the Boston Globe Friday.

Reagan Democrats feel they have been mistreated during the campaign season, she writes, and since her March resignation from the Clinton campaign have repeatedly told her that “If you're white you can't open your mouth without being accused of being racist...”

“They see Obama's playing the race card throughout the campaign and no one calling him for it as frightening. They're not upset with Obama because he's black; they're upset because they don't expect to be treated fairly because they're white,” writes the former New York congresswoman. “It's not racism that is driving them, it's racial resentment. And that is enforced because they don't believe he understands them and their problems. That when he said in South Carolina after his victory ‘Our Time Has Come’ they believe he is telling them that their time has passed.”

Ferraro resigned from a post on the Clinton campaign’s finance committee following a media firestorm over her remarks about sexism and race.

“The reaction to the questions being raised has been not to listen to the message and try to find out how to deal with the problem, but rather to denigrate the messenger,” she wrote Friday. “Sore loser, petty, silly, vengeful are words that have dominated the headlines. But scolding and name calling don't resolve disputes.

“The truth is that tens of thousands of women have watched how Clinton has been treated and are not happy. We feel that if society can allow sexism to impact a woman's candidacy to deny her the presidency, it sends a direct signal that sexism is OK in all of society.”

She called on Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy to conduct a study, which she and other women would fund if necessary, to explore whether either of the Democratic candidates’ campaigns engaged in sexism or racism; whether Clinton was treated unfairly by the media; and “whether certain members of the media crossed an ethical line when they changed the definition of journalist from reporter and commentator to strategist and promoter of a candidate. And if they did to suggest ethical guidelines which the industry might adopt.”

“That sexism impacted Clinton's campaign, I have no doubt. Did she lose a close election because of sexism? I don't know. But I do know that it will never happen again as long as women are willing to stand up and make sure that it is just a one-time bad experience.”

soundoff (442 Responses)
  1. Ohio Observer

    *yawns* Yeah OK, that is why Kentucky and West Virginia's voted so heavily against Obama, reverse racism. Bitter Lady please go away and take the Clintons’ with you!

    May 30, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  2. Ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    Gerry Ferraro seems to be suffering from a bad bout of 'foot in mouth' disease.....someone please give her the meds!

    May 30, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. cheri

    Please.......

    May 30, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  4. Justme WV

    This ole bag of wind is getting very tiresome with these accusations of "reverse racism" – geez, how does she even get attention?

    May 30, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. Dan

    Why is the race card being played all of a sudden? Could this be because CNN has made him the victor already? I am positive there is more to find out about Obama. It all comes out in the end and McCain will win this if Hillary is not the nominee! I just hope it is not to late for Democrats to have a true experienced leader?

    May 30, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. SLIMSISTA

    GERALDINE....PLEASE.....IT'S TOO LATE FOR YOUR RHETORIC....HILLARY CAME OUT HER MOUTH AND I HEARD HER...SHE GETS ALL THE WHITE VOTE....

    PLEASE GO AWAY AND TAKE YOUR GIRL HILLARY WITH YOU!!!!!

    May 30, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. Allen, Lubbock, TX

    This is why she is not taken serious about wanting to heal the rift in the party. she continues to pick at the wound. She is saying that Obama is playing the race card when people don't support him, then she turnes around and justifies HRC's lost to sexism...ironic? She is condeming him for using something divisive "to win" while she simultanously does the same thing!

    When Obama said our time is now in Iowa, and all the other states that did not have a large black population...i guess he was still refering to black people time are now. this argument is so ridiculous and she is only further damaging herself, her rep, and her party. What a shame!

    May 30, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. Phil From VA

    She got to be the VP candidate because of using her gender card. She is the most divisive figure who won't shut up. Please, your time is up. Go back to the hole.

    May 30, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. Latha

    Will you and Hillary both just SHUT UP.

    Women for Obama '08

    May 30, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. Proud1of 26% in WV

    Is this not the old broad that Clinton fired for saying Obama wouldn't be where he was if he had been white?People think that Hillary should win just because that she is a woman.

    May 30, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. NEVEREVER OBAMA

    VERY TRUE – THIS IS PARTLY WHY I WILL NOT VOTE FOR HIM IN THE FALL. OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN SPUN THIS AND AND MADE HIM COME OUT LOOKING ANGELIC. I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL MORE TRASH COMES OUT ON OBAMA. YESTERDAY CNN AIRED HOW OBAMA WAS ELECTED SENATOR. HE PROMOTES HIMSELF TO BE THE PERSON OF CHANGE WHEN INDEED HE IS LOW AND DIRTY LIKE THE REST OF THE POLITICIANS. I HAVE NEVER LOOKED FORWARD SO MUCH IN ALL MY YEARS TO CAST A VOTE FOR A REPLICAN THIS YEAR.

    GO MCCAIN!

    May 30, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. Ralph

    You got that right and before its over most of the people will see that Obama is scary!!

    There is no way that man will ever get to the White House!!

    May 30, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. The Truth

    What is the crypt keeper doing out.....why hasn't this woman been institutionalized yet......GO AWAY YOU BIGOT......

    This is America 2008...Not Nazi Germany 1939.....

    OBAMA: THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!!!!

    May 30, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. Enlightened Voter

    Hillary is the one that bought race into this campaign with her "...uneducated, white, voters...." remark. Geraldine, you are part of what is wrong with this country. Hillary is losing not because of sexism, but her campaign is in debt, she ran it poorly, people don't like her divisive, negativity. PERIOD!

    May 30, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. Milo

    It's really sad to see one of the old dem VP candidates turn into a dem-in-name-only. Shameful. This gender baiting is as bad as any of the earlier race baiting.

    May 30, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. Ferraro

    Wow CNN!!! This is the best news you can give??? Please stop posting news based on this "old bat"!!!!!!!

    May 30, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. mazola

    This woman is just stupid and crazy.She started this whole racial crap and now look at what she is publishing out there. She needs a husband...She is is sick !!!!!

    HILLARY 2018....

    May 30, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Timothy

    What is the point of this article? Blitzer, you really should focus on more news worthy events like the fact that 133 American military committed suicide last year as a result of this STUPID war. I am so tired of all these hollow news stories that continue to come out to try to turn public opinion on a candidate. This is just sad. Why don't you try giving us something that actually matters.

    May 30, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Nicole in NE

    These comments are sad and divisive.

    I understand that racism and sexism has been a part of this election and it is truly sad that we Americans as a whole are still so regressed.

    My personal view is all about supporting the Democratic nominee. I want a better future for this country, for our children.....and my strongest belief is that John McCain cannot offer that under the same FAILED Bush policies.

    Open your eyes America and take a deep breath. We need to embrace our differences and ONLY then, can we progress as a nation!

    May 30, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. Ms B

    Please...she needs to retire and stop spreading hate.

    May 30, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  21. Darth Vadik, CA

    Go away you crazy woman.
    Have you have had enough already?
    When you're in a hole, STOP DIGGING.

    May 30, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. Jake in Chicago

    First of all, there is no such thing as "reverse racism". Racism is racism no matter what race it is coming from or directed to.

    Second of all, the Clinton's are the only ones playing the race card. This interview itself is playing the race card. Obama's campaign hasn't been doing it, but the Clinton's just keep repeating the lies that he has (just like they've been acting as if so many people are calling for her to drop out, when, in reality, very few people in the party have done so). The Clintons are just like the Bushes–they know if they repeat something enough times, people will believe it whether its true or not. That's what they are doing here, and its doing great harm to the party. Clinton's is in it for herself, not for us.

    The "Reagan Democrats" time has gone. Its time for the party to return to its progressive roots, and its time for the Clinton's the centrist "third way", and anyone else who is just a republican in disguise to get out of the way.

    May 30, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  23. fred2..since another stole my name

    what a disgrace this women is, lol can anyone stay 2 steps back for the womens movement because currently clinton and ferrara are making you all look real bad.

    Like you dont know how to lose with grace, instead play the victim and whine whine whine. How sad and utterly PATHETIC.

    I would love to see a women president in my time, however clinton has made me realize that maybe i dont.

    May 30, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. Alex in TX

    There is a big difference between Obama "using the race card" and his supporters "using the race card."

    May 30, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. Lucas

    Ferraro is a perfect example of the people who have been in Washington TOO LONG!!!!

    The time is now... a changing of the guard. Our country has been run into the ground in the past 10 years.

    Put your petty differences aside. We need real change NOW and it's not going to come from the same old candidate's, playing the same old politics!

    OBAMA 08/12

    May 30, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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