March 11th, 2008
03:37 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama camp calls for Clinton to drop Ferraro

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Ferraro is a supporter of Hillary Clinton."](CNN) - Barack Obama’s chief strategist said Tuesday that a comment by one of Hillary Clinton’s top fundraisers that Barack Obama would not be a major presidential contender if he were not black – coupled with Clinton’s “own inexplicable unwillingness" to deny that he was a Muslim during a recent interview – indicated “an insidious pattern that needs to be addressed."

David Axelrod called on the New York senator to drop former New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro from her finance committee. "When you wink and nod at offensive statements you're really sending a signal to your supporters that anything goes," said Axelrod.

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."

Ferraro said the New York senator had suffered because the press "has been uniquely hard on her. It's been a very sexist media. Some just don't like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign."

"I was reading an article that said young Republicans are out there campaigning for Obama because they believe he's going to be able to put an end to partisanship,” she added. “Dear God! Anyone that has worked in the Congress knows that for over 200 years this country has had partisanship – that's the way our country is."

Full story

(Update at 2:15 with Obama campaign comments, context)

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (490 Responses)
  1. Matt, Manchester, CT

    Have to love the withering and witty criticism from a former candidate herself, who did so much to aid her ticket's success in 1988. Don't pay this crazy broad any mind.

    March 11, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. CampaignHillary

    After signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, LBJ lamented to his closest advisors that "we have lost the south forever." The one voting block that the democratic party had left in the south was the African American community. Now, thanks to Hillary and her racist campaign, you can count African Americans out!

    March 11, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. Jason

    ...aaaaaaand here comes the HRC supporters excuses in 4...3...2...1...

    March 11, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. michael, ny

    “Dear God! Anyone that has worked in the Congress knows that for over 200 years this country has had partisanship – that's the way our country is."

    Uhm, is that how our country should be?

    Ok, now I understand why the eldery are not voting for Obama. They dont believe we can put this country back on track. Well, the younger generation says: YES WE CAN.

    March 11, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. Eli

    First thing to ask is this a TRUE statement. I think so. If it had been just her and John Edwards she would have blown him away. THIS IS SO TRUE.

    March 11, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  6. A. Harrison

    Good Grief. Someone Muzzle these supporters and Surrogates!

    Hillary 2008!

    March 11, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. Karen, NJ

    Howard the punk should reject and denouce her comments and ask her to resign.

    March 11, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. Xavier, Washington, DC

    They disagree with the comments, but do they "reject and denounce" them?

    March 11, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  9. Ohio Democrat

    RESPONDING TO CapaignHillary:

    How can you count African Americans out? My gosh they are all voting for Obama. Them and the young people who are caught up in this Obama machine. They are elated now, but if they nominate him god help us.

    Hillary 08

    March 11, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. Edwin Portland

    Way to play the gender card and race card at the same time. Hey maybe your huge backer Spitzer can come help the campaign some more like his appearance on the Daily Show!

    March 11, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. Summer

    These sort of simple minded comments are exactly why people like Obama b/c he's trying to change the way our politics work by not feeding into the partisanship. And.....people don't like HRC b/c they don't like the Clintons! It has nothing to do with her being a woman! She's married to an adulterer, her husband talks too much and she plays too many childish games in the media. WAKE UP FERRARO! HRC's campaign is delusional!

    March 11, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. Brian

    Its views like this that will not allow for a bright future. If people never made a movement for change we would not be an independent country even voting for a president. Granted changes in attitude don't occur overnight, they all have to start somewhere. I am tired of hearing things like this from people who have been inside the system for long tenures and are dedicated to it. Obama has been in the system for a short period of time and thats enough to know there are some changes that could be made to the system in a positive manner.

    March 11, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  13. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    Talk about a campaign that will do anything, say anything to win.


    March 11, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  14. frank

    From the view of the voters, both Clinton and Obama are good candidates for the presidental position, since their vote numbers are too close to call. Then the responsibility of superdelegates is to choose one to win the General Election. Therefore, superdelegates must use their judgment to choose the electable candidate as a nominee for winning the General Election.
    I think that experience and ability of Hillary Clinton are important in beating McCain.
    It is hard to imagine that inexperienced Obama can be chosen to solve the current mess created by Bush in THE GENERAL ELECTION.

    March 11, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Dennis

    Hillary should DENOUNCE and REJECT these comments immediately, oh that's right the same rules don't apply to her!

    March 11, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. AKD

    Americans are not that stupid. We don't support people just becuase of their color or ethnicity. If anything, this would cause for less support. Barack Obama is the right man for the job, and will lead our country much further than Clinton could ever imagine.

    March 11, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  17. A. Harrison

    This race for the Dem nomination is gonna go down to the last vote.

    BUT I'm especially interested in seeing how Florida and Michigan revote and propell Clinton into the lead. Those two states are key here. Barack has a lead without Two crucial states which is not a valid LEAD in my book.

    March 11, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  18. Charlotte

    I and alot of others agree with Geradines' comments. He would not be where he is if he weren't black. Oprah would not have ever campagined for him if he were not black. He would not have won all those predominately black states if he were not black. MLK would never have been mentioned if he were not black. I have a dream, would never have been mentioned. Black delegates would not be strong armed into switching to Obama if he were not black. Sorry, just the facts.

    March 11, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. kfab40

    Its comments like Ferraro's that Obama is fighting against...I didn't realize she was so ignorant.

    March 11, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  20. Stu from Canada

    Well I guess that means that the only reason Hillary is were she is, is because she is a woman.

    What a disgusting comment.

    March 11, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. Tracey

    Seriously? This woman completely discounts the fact that Barack Obama is an intelligent, Harvard Law graduate with years of local and national experience in the politicaly system and a plan that is 90% the same as his contender. The fact that he is charismatic and motivational is why he has such a following, not because he is Black. Comments like this leave a bad taste in the mouths of ALL Americans, regardless of race.

    March 11, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  22. Jeff

    One can't repudiate the truth.

    March 11, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. TJ WILLIAMS, Los Angeles, CA

    People! It's time to realize HILLIARY CLINTON IS BURNING THE HOUSE DOWN! Since she isn't likely to win ( by any honest means) she's determined to take the WHOLE DEMOCRAT PARTY DOWN WITH HER. It's way past time to dump this woman and her "issues" and move on to rebuilding our country. Really, she and her buddy Geraldine need to take a long vacation away from sane people.

    March 11, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  24. Dave S.

    Will Hillary both "renounce AND reject" this?

    March 11, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  25. Pete

    And how much press would Hillary have ever gotten if she weren't a woman and the wife of a former president?

    And as a young republican who thinks that Obama can reach across party lines and at least ease the bitterness that seems to exist in congress between the two parties, I take offense to her implication that I am naive.

    Also, the "that's the way our country is" comment coming from the first woman to be on a major presidential ticket is rather amusing. Our President/VP has always been a white male, and too bad for anyone else cuz "that's just the way our country is" right Geraldine?

    March 11, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
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