March 11th, 2008
05:25 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton campaign manager rebukes Ferraro calls

(CNN) - Clinton Campaign Manager Maggie Williams said Tuesday that Obama campaign is making "false, personal and politically calculated attacks" over supporter Geraldine Ferraro's controversial comment that the Illinois senator is only in contention because of his race.

"This campaign should be about the leadership we need for a better future and these attacks serve only to divide the Democratic Party and the American people," Williams said in a statement sent to reporters.

Ferraro, the Democratic Party's vice presidential nominee in 1984, told the (Torrance, California) Daily Breeze that "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

The Williams statement came a few hours after Obama senior strategist David Axelrod told reporters that Ferraro's recent remarks were part of "an insidious pattern that needs to be addressed."

"When you wink and nod at offensive statements you're really sending a signal to your supporters that anything goes," he also said.

Obama himself also issued a statement on the Ferraro's comments Tuesday afternoon, calling them divisive and 'patently absurd.'

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. Darren P

    Wow, just when you think it can't get any lower, they dig a pit and jump down.

    March 11, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. I. Harris

    Is every one asleep? Come on People. People are focused on Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his sex scandal. Why didn't you impeach Pred. Clinton when he had the woman down on her knees. Leave the Governor alone because Hillare is now trying to let her husband back in to run muck in the white house again.
    Iri
    California.

    March 11, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. Brenda

    I don't make my judgments based on color of the skin but isn't it rather obvious why Sen Obama has 88% of African Americans voting for him???? If he was a white man could he have managed to get 88% of African American votes? Edwards could not !!!!! Because as far as real issues are concerned there is nothing much Sen Obama has to offer – all he has is "we need a change" and " I agree with Sen Clinton" . Like it or not, Obama camp is very strategically playing the race card to their benefit and making it Clinton's fault (Just like they did in South Carolina).

    Hope American people are smart enough to understand and make educated decisions rather than superficial ones. There is no doubt that African Americans are no less that every other American and that they are more than capable of taking up any challange ,but not Sen Obama. He is behaving like a kid waiting for a reason to blame someone else and tattle inorder to take attention away from his doings .

    March 11, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. dave in calgary

    Question for Maggie Williams... Are you 12 years old? I mean, sorry, but the comments from you and the way you present them...

    March 11, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. Rick

    I'll say it if everyone else is scared to say it, I think Hillary provokes the racist remarks that come out of her campaign and then she sheds a tear and says not me, oh not me. I think that is garbage, look at Bill and his comments, look at the things Hillary has said, look at what others in her campaign have said. It is a continuos flow of racist remarks. I am outraged by Hillary's campaign and her lack of respect and not accepting the responsibility of the remarks that come out of her campaign.

    March 11, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. Will

    Does this action, or rather lack of action, on the part of Hillary's campaign speak volumes? Hillary, either is an outright racist for not denouncing or rejecting Fearrar racist remarks, or is totally unable to handle her campaign managers and advisors or maybe both. That is a truly bad sign of the tough and ready image is trying to portray to be able to step in and lead on day one claim of Hillary's.

    Is this the way all women who fight sexism view racism?

    March 11, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. LadyVoter

    I am so sick of Obama I can't wait to vote for McCain. The fact is if everyone was allowed to vote in those caucus states and they were primaries instead he would not be in the lead. If people were allowed easy access to vote by not being precluded from voting because it ain't easy at a caucus for the old, blind and disabled, caretakers etc then Clinton would be in the lead. We do not have a democratic system.

    March 11, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. Bobby

    Obama's making personal attacks????

    What do you call claiming one opponents race is the reason for their success? That's seems pretty personal to me.

    March 11, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. Harvey

    no one can say anything about Obama being black without idiot saying they are a racist...If people want to be racist they will just get all their friends and say we will not vote for a black man..then u can be a racist...this Obama and his stafff just love playin the race card it gives them more BLACK votes

    March 11, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. Betty Hoffman

    It seems that there is too much apologizing during the campaign.
    These people are needing to get some thicker skins. When one of these characters get to be president of the United States, they may be taking more slams than what is going on right now. Lets get some strength.

    March 11, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. Robert Bauer

    Geraldine Ferraro was the co-architect of one of the most disastrous Democratic campaigns in American presidential history. Not only did she and Mondale lose, but they lost in an overwhelming landslide to a man who offered nothing more than "happy times." Given her history of catastrophic performances in campaigns, I don't think her opinion about Obama means much at all. She should return to the political garbage heap of history, from whence she came.

    March 11, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  12. Patrick

    I can't believe how OFFENSIVE her comments were. And how PATHETIC that the Clinton campaign doesn't FIRE her. Obama fired an advisor for calling Hillary a Monster. OMG!!! Double standards? I can't stand that woman Clinton.

    March 11, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  13. David

    As usual the clinton campagne tries to go negative to gain.
    What they are hoping is that President Obama mentions something about gender as they are mentioning race,so that they can counter and grab some of his female base.
    Don't fall for that snare Obama!!!!

    I look forward to the day you take your oath of office!!!

    OBAMA is PRESIDENT!!!!!

    March 11, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. Carrie Pa

    Does Maggie Williams think that the voters are stupid? Geraldine Ferraro's remarks were wrong. BS spin!

    March 11, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. jer

    When Hillary said she was honored to be on the stage with Obama it was really another false statement as they and their supporters continue to tell him to get in his place.

    SHAMEFULL

    March 11, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Obasanjou

    I'm an Obama supporter, but I'm sick and tired of us trying to fight the good fight here with this ridiculous Clinton campaign. We've got to take the gloves off and hit back when HRC uses her stooges to make vicious attacks against Barack. She will stop at nothing to get the nomination.

    March 11, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. Sharon

    What would be the politically correct way to say what the polls are saying?

    March 11, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  18. applecrispbetty

    How many black people, 12%?
    How many women, 50%?
    If Ferraro were right, HRC would be 38% ahead of Mr. Obama in the elections.

    March 11, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  19. David

    As usual the clinton campagne tries to go negative to gain.
    What they are hoping is that President Obama mentions something about gender as they are mentioning race,so that they can counter and grab some of his female base.
    Don't fall for that snare Obama!!!!

    I look forward to the day you take your oath of office!!!

    OBAMA is PRESIDENT!!!!!

    March 11, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  20. stephanie

    Ms. Clinton also stated that the focus of the campaign should be on the issues of universal healthcare, the economy, and national security. All of which Ms. Clinton has given a detailed plan to navigate this country, and which Mr. Obama has not. Look up her plans, listen to what she says in debates and speeches. He has not delivered a detailed plan. Why do the media not focus on this?

    Clinton/Obama 2008/2012

    March 11, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  21. Donna F

    Well, from a lot of reading....no just news stories, but interviews with those who have worked with Obama, he is lucky to be where he is.....put on committees by Kennedy, but not showing up for committee meetings, not really having any need to fight for anything so far as a Senator. He has scary ideas about Iraq and dealing with foreign leaders. He is too young, too inexperienced and too naive...that has all been said.....and now it is starting to show.....anybody listening, watching him really.....?

    March 11, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  22. EDW

    Hillary wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell in running for President if her husband wasn't Bill Clinton. i don't think Ferraro's comment is accurate, because Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton's race didn't make them presidential frontrunners. Obama is succeeding because of his individual appeal and a very well oiled campaign.

    March 11, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  23. rediva71

    Is Ms. Ferraro stupid, or just plain ignorant. Either way it's no exuse! Obama is "in this position" because he deserves to be. He has 2 less yeard experience than Hillary. Maybe Ms. Ferraro should change her party to "Republican".

    March 11, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  24. Jay

    Gerladine was a novelty in 1984, because she was awoman.

    I suspect she wouldn't have wanted that pointed out back then.

    March 11, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  25. Schwarz

    We constantly put the Clinton family under the microscope. Bill Clinton was a good president. How come the news doesn't put any of the other candidates under the microscope and criticize them constantly like they do Hillary Clinton.. This is so obvious. Are we afraid of Obama and his following?? Never NOTHING said about him. Quite obvious who the media supports.

    March 11, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
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