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. atimebandit

    That old crow doesn't merit a response. She can be overlooked, just like she was as VP candidate. As much as I don't like Hillary, who cares what GF has to say?

    March 11, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. Shavon

    I honestly think the whole race and gender thing has been blow out of context by the media and who ever else feeds off this crap. The Clintons have done alot for African Americans unlike our so called represenatives (Jackson/Sharpton) who only speak on our behalf when it benefits them getting the spot light!! Hillary is not a racist and never has been. Her campaign has stated they do NOT agree with Ferraro remarks that is all they can do, she is a supporter not a advisor or spokesman for Hillary's camp.

    March 11, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. Mike D

    So, sexism isn't OK, but racism is?

    March 11, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. s.b.

    She is 100% correct.

    JFK was a senator for 14 years, a war hero and grew up in the Parliaments of Europe, between WWi and WWII.

    Not only has Obama been given a free ride because of liberal white guilt and fear of being accused of racism, if he was a woman he would be laughed at and blacks wouldn't be voting for him either.

    GOdd for Her. Someone needed to say it!

    March 11, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. Paul

    She misses the days when Barack was just 3/5ths a human being. We need the Clintons out of politics for good.

    March 11, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. elvispresley

    »»»ENOUGH of Clintons in the White House!...Hillary "Annoying" Clinton is NOT good enough to be President.NO MORE Clintons i the White House!...ENOUGH!!...»»Go Obama!...Go John McCain.

    March 11, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. JDC

    Shows who the REAL racists are. Can't blacks see this???

    March 11, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. James Nelson

    She needs to both reject and denounce this nonsense forthwith. But she won't because she lacks the fundamental judgement necessary in a leader.

    March 11, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  9. Jose Card - Independent

    I can be sure that had Hillary not married Bill Clinton, she would not have been Hillary Clinton today in any race.

    This is getting ridiculous.
    How can I trust my country to this bunch of fools?

    March 11, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. A CANUCK

    I have lost all the respect I had for Ferraro. But she is right about one
    thig about Hillary........WE JUST DON'T LIKE HER.

    March 11, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. The Great One

    Hmmm now this is a funny VERY funny comment….because I’ve always stated that “Hillary wouldn’t be a major contender for the presidential slot if her last name wasn’t CLINTON”…lets not forget….Al Sharpton is black..ran for president….Jesse is black….ran for president……and wasn’t there a African American female that ran for president in 2004????...wonder why the “black magic” didn’t work for them. LMAO!

    March 11, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. Kim, PA

    would the votes be there for him if....?

    there are many doubts I have about Obama. His qualifications moreover anything. Nothing has impressed me, and almost to the point of I think Edwards would be better and more qualified but lost out because he wasn't "different".

    i don't believe it should be taken negatively. Just as women are excited about Hillary, so should African Americans be proud.

    we are soooooooooooo sensitive.

    March 11, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. lee from Treasure Island Fl

    Hillary wouldn't be where she is ...if it wasn't for her husband being a former President!

    Now any remaining Black Super delegates on Hillary's pledged card should jump ship, if they have any dignity or self pride

    March 11, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. Harvey

    well its true he would not be a major contender if he was not black..did you see the picture on msnbc of Obama at a rally not one white person in the pic....He plays and uses his skin color whenever he can get away with it which seems like all the time

    March 11, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. Justeace, CT

    So her counter to the media being sexist is to be racist? Well then I guess she believes if she were a man and her being placed on the 1984 ticket to be VP wouldn't have been a big deal. The fact that Obama is African-American and White, which so many people seem to ignore, doesn't take away the fact that he is educated, a State Senator, charismatic and an amazing speaker. His race, both of them, adds to who he is and it's not the only thing he is. Her statements degrade him, her and all women and minorities. The fact that all Clinton's campaign had to say is we disagree with her statements when someone calling Hillary Clinton a monster cost her job with the Obama campaign goes to show you exactly what kind of person Senator Clinton is and what kind of campaign she is running.

    March 11, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. maya

    Unfortunate comment. But I would hope that comments such as the fake "CampaignHillary" do not fan the flames and make this into something bigger than it needs to be. Bill Clinton did many great things for minorities and Hillary Clinton's policies will also. Hillary also has much experience with helping women and children and she is embracing gender issues. I'm still not clear if Obama is embracing AA issues and I would think that he should to some extent, given his support. I am not alone in believing this. It is disturbing that he skipped Tavis Smiley's State of the Black Union since he was too busy campaigning. Hillary was there.

    March 11, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. justpaul

    What Ticket was Ferraro on in 1988?

    I know she's not all that attractive, but confusing her with Lloyd Bentsen seems a bit of a stretch.

    March 11, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. GrogInOhio

    Yeah... black folks have such cushy positions in America. At the top of the socio-economic ladder, ruling board rooms and universities, awesome political clout. They've got it so made....

    What a hump.

    315 days till the end of the Bush administration.

    March 11, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Richard Lubowa

    What is wrong with calling a spade a spade.
    Why is it that nearly all blacks are voting for Obama if race is not an issue?

    March 11, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. Joel

    Funny, I remember Clinton telling Obama he must stand up against Farrakhan's endorsement; which he did. But when the shoe is on the other foot, and one of Clinton's backers says something clearly racist... (crickets chirping) no comment. Clinton... Wow, you are something else. First you endorse McCain. Then you are chatting it up about running a Dream Ticket with you as Pres (even though you are behind Obama in all categories; namely DELEGATE COUNT), talking of your ability to groom Obama into a good leader. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Then this... it just keeps getting better and better. Clinton is going to lose. Sad thing for her, is that she's LOSING BADLY.

    March 11, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. Jack Morris

    Why is the comment wrong. If there was a white candidate and 85 to 95% whites voted for him, they would be called racist. But in this case if blacks are voting overwhelmingly for a black candidate it is not racism? Go figure.
    Obama is black when is contesting in the south and a white when he is contesting in the north. If anyone speaks the truth they are immediately called a racist.

    March 11, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. Sorry Iowan

    There are plenty of reasons to choose Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton without considering gender. We'll never see gender equality as long as every rejection of a candidate (who happens to be female) is blamed on sexism.

    March 11, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. John

    Why is it that the truth about Obama, is always considered a lie, or
    racist? But when a lie is told about Hillary it's called the truth?

    March 11, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. Will

    If Hillary doesn't denounce and reject Ferraro's racist comments, she is causing divisiveness within the Democratic Party that may never ever heal.

    March 11, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. Anonymous

    I was reading this article and could not believe what the old man in the picture was saying. Wow.

    March 11, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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