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. Keith

    Will somebody please shut this OLD BAT UP!!!!

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. A CANUCK

    Actually, it is the Hill-Billys that have played the SEXIST...RACIST..VICTIM cards because they are selfish and delusional. Please let this be over SOON !!!!

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. ISeeNothingWrongWithIt

    This woman needs to be checked for mental problem. Get lost old woman who in the right mind want to listen to you.

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Nancy

    You're the only one playing the race card Ferraro. Haven't you done enough damage? You belong with the Clinton campaign because you both follow the same disgusting policies. Are you blind? You think Clinton was mistreated by the media? Where have you been? Obama has taken every unfair hit the media could materialize And it must really pi– you off to know he is still standing and will be the United States President next year..

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. Javasia Jones

    TO ALL HILLARY SUPPORTERS: GET A LIFE AND MOVE ON

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. j

    I'm predicitng that the Democrats will not be able to unify behind one candidate and the Republicans win the White House.

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. Stephen

    This is so sad.
    Bitter Clinton supporter!

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. Eddie

    This is a racist divisive man hating old bag who is just stupid.Obama did not tell those uneducated whites as hillary calls them to go on record when asked why you did not vote for Obama to say,because he is black.This is Hillarious to try to spin Obama statements to make themselves out to be victims of racism.Farraro and Hillary both need to go and lay down somewhere.

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. SexyMe

    She should just SHUT UP!

    Nobody is listening (my hands are over my ears), nobody hears you and with talk to the hand - oops hand is not listening either

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. Chris

    Doesn't Geraldine know when to just shut her yap?

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. Eric

    God, no wonder why this candidate was a complete failure when she ran as vp. Total lack of judgement, bigotry, hatred, blaming others for her own stupidity. I don't understand why the media gives a voice to someone who just spits her own frustration without any inteligence.

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. PAT FOR OBAMA

    YOU ARE SICKENING OKEY, HAD ENOUGH OF YOU

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Chris, Antioch, CA

    Shameless! Not only are they creating chauvinistic strawmen in Obama's campaign; they're creating strawman victims out there. Ferraro's legacy is now a laughing stock.

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Eric

    I don't understand why this woman keep on raising some incediary remarks every other week?. I think she is the one who creates controversial remarks in the media and points to the otherside of the bar. Stay with fox. It is an insult to the other women who supports obama.

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. HAWK,TEXAS

    VERY TRUE. OBAMA HAS PLAYED THE RACE CARD, ELITEISM, GENDER. ALL THE TIME. HE IS JUST A WIND BAG. NO DIPLOMACY OR TACT. HE CERTINALY HAS A LOT OF PEOPLE FOOLED. HE WAS THE ONE THAT PLAYED DIRTY POLITIC'S FROM THE START.HE IS THE ONE THAT HAS DIVIDED THE PARTY. JUST AS HE PLAYED DIRTY IN HIS CONGRESSIONAL BID BY OUTING THE COMPETITION SO HE WAS THE ONLY CANDITATE. HE HAS STILL NOT DENIED REV. WRIGHT. HE HAS LIED TO AND CONFUSED HIS SUPPORTERS. YOU THINK BUSH IS BAD. JUST WAIT IF HE IS ELECTED. PEOPLE SHOULD WAKE UP TO THE FACT THAT HE IS A FAKE.

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. AA Michael

    Oh, Gerry – just leave the DNC and take Liebermann with you. The problems America faces after 8 years of Bush are bigger than gender. You do yourself and all women a disservice with your constant whining. Quit perpetuating a sterotype.

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. Rich

    So are you saying that all Obama supporters are sexist? I don't think you are giving voters much credit Ferraro. Every voter has a brain and aren't robots that can be programmed by the media. We voted for Obama because we feel that he is the best candidate. It is just that simple.

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. PA Voter

    What's really amazing to me is that anyone still cares about her rants.

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. mr g

    fERRARRO DIT YOUR OLD behind down is that better CNN? Afraid to post the real language of the people

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. nothing but the facts

    This woman is trying to creating fire from the beginning! Trying to split the party one way or the other! Democrats be ready...the party is coming to an end!!!! Whites, poor and non educated....
    If Obama does not do something from the start...he will not win at the end. This is serious business. Hillary is not going to help...she is going to hurt the party if she does get what she wants simply because she did not get what she wanted. Trust me.
    She will not do the talking....she will put OTHERS to do the talking for her saying all the wrong things during the campaign.

    May 30, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Carl from va

    So much for party unity...

    May 30, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Mark M Kansas City

    Ever notice how kids, when in trouble, try to string together a bunch of poorly related 'facts' to justify their actions or positions?

    Does it sound like this irrelevant windbag is trying to pull together facts to otherwise justify her racist beliefs? Am I think only one that see's this?

    The Clinton capaign is the one that has stooped to smear tactics, and this is just one more example of "how it isn't their fault".

    I will be so glad when this farce is over

    May 30, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. Hillary 08

    When Hillary took the platform and mocked Obama by saying "the heavens will open,angels will sing,and we shall all be one bla bla bla" i guess Ferraro found it funny but when Obama brushed off his shoulder,she found it offensive and sexist.For a former top democrat to imply that she will not vote democrat if Obama wins is disgusting.I am a Clinton supporter but i know the task of rebuilding this country is bigger than Obama or Hillary so please Ferraro,spare our ears.

    May 30, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. Anne

    another sad old woman who has lost all her creditbility little that it was to begin with.

    May 30, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. Ignorance has nothing do w/ lack of education

    Ms. Ferraro proves this premise. She is ignorant enough to believe most people will buy her outlandish hate and crock of bull!

    When Obama said "Our time has come", he was talking about all of us in the U.S. that are hurting from this past administration.... AND Geraldine, I think you full well know this, but want to perpetuate hate.

    I do get solice in the fact that the law of the land applies to you too, that is, you reap what you sow, lady!

    May 30, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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