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. dave

    hey hill supporter from minnesota:

    do you even read what you write? you say who would have ever thought that so soon after 9/11 we would have a candidate named obama blah blah. you do realize that this supports the argument that he has OVERCOME the DISADVANTAGES inherent in having a unique name, the disadvantage of being a minority. if being black were an advantage in politics, you'd think there would be more than one african american in the Senate. Give me a break.

    there's really no two ways about it: what ferraro said is racism. period. if samantha powers had to resign for calling hillary a monster, ferraro surely must resign for this. end of story.

    March 11, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. CL, California

    I think this is the pot calling the kettle (no pun intended) black.

    The only reason Hillary is where she is is because of following Bill around all these years. Does anyone seriously think she got this far on her own?????

    I think Spitzer's wife should take over the job of governor. If Hillary is qualified based on her "experience".......... Spitzer's wife is qualified for his job too.

    March 11, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  3. nick b

    I think is honestly one of the worst comments to come out of her campaign

    March 11, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. Brad, Obamaha NE


    that's because you and your circle of friends and family are racists.

    the only special treatment blacks receive comes from people like you in the form of hatred. you and people like you still look at and think of blacks as some kind of parasite and its really shamefull and disgusting.

    there is no place for racism in America any longer. If you have a problem with that then leave.

    March 11, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. grant

    Hillary wouldn't be where she is if it were not for Bill and Bill's Spitzer-like behavior. I'll take Obama's reasons anyday. At least they are consrtructive and positive.

    March 11, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  6. Ripper

    Here the Dems go again with thier racist remarks. And this from the party of tolerance and equal rights. This is why I can't side with the Dems.

    The Dems have painted themselves into a corner with race/gender issue of thier candidates and the whole delegate issue. These two issues will show the party for what and who it really is. They may not win an election for years to come.

    March 11, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. Marc

    Well, I can't say Obama's race helps him with white voters, necessarily, but it sure as heck does with African-American voters. You can't tell me that all this rhetoric about change, hope, and ending politics as usual is what resonates so strongly with black voters. I know an Indian-American guy voting for Obama.. why? He thinks race will no longer be a factor with someone of color in the White House. This is EXACTLY why Barack gets his vote which otherwise would have gone to Senator Clinton. Ferraro is telling it like it is.

    March 11, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. Nod

    To the moderator:

    Could you email me an explanation for your censorship? That is if you have a reasonable one; which I suspect you don't so I'm not waiting any email from you.

    Post my comments.

    March 11, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. jp/michigan

    The comment was sadly inappropriate to be said. Hillary tell Geraldine to use her brain before opening he mouth. If some one wants to play the poor me, African-American race card let it be Obama.

    March 11, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. Jenny

    What? I believe she told us the truth!

    Why Obama and his supporters fear to hear the truth like they fear to hear their middle name!

    March 11, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. Walker

    If the media has been particularly hard on Hilary, it's probably not because she is a woman. It's because she is a Clinton.

    March 11, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. Ash

    What happened to CLinton campaigns "renounce and reject" standard? I guess that only applies to Obama, not her!

    March 11, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. Bewildered!

    Are you kidding me! As a previous person mentioned, Jesse Jackson is black and he didn't get our vote, Sharpton is black and he didn't get our vote. It makes no sense to say that 80% of blacks are voting for Obama because he is black. Why don't you say how many white people are voting for Hillary because she is white. All black people don't vote based on race. If that was the case, Hillary wouldn't be getting any black votes at all. Go figure!

    March 11, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  14. Peggy

    This is NOT true. Barack Obama is/was not the first black American running for Prez!! A few have come before him! So its obviously not just because hes black, it must be something else HMM let me think.... Hes the best candidate!!

    March 11, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  15. Independent

    Jack Morris___Are you people serious? ALL the presidents were white so, 85% of whites DID vote for them!

    March 11, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. Erika, New Mexico

    John McCain was enough of a gentleman to personally make a statement condemning Bill Cunningham's remarks against Obama, and yet all that Clinton can offer is Wolfson remarking that the campaign disagrees with Geraldine Ferraro's remarks?

    If Hillary is such a fighter then let's see a little backbone — let her personally make a statement condemning Ferraro's racist remarks. In fact, let's hear her "denounce and reject" any further support from Ferraro!

    March 11, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  17. obama_mania

    truth hurts, stings & no one likes. At the first sight of the truth it's always denied it's place.

    March 11, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  18. Dawn

    Black, white, female, male, Geraldine Ferraro told it exactly the way it is. Why should she have to apoligize for that? I am tired of hearing
    "apologize" for every other statement either candidate makes which is pure B S!

    It's time to hear answers to the problems that face this country from both candidates. I want to hear how they intend to protect America from outsourcing that's bringing this country to its knees. Now the powers that be want to outsource American security. What's next? Having a Chinese national on the ballot for president in 2012? Nothing would surprise me! Everything else comes from China.

    March 11, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |

    Where was all the breakdowns of "why" someone voted for someone when it was only "white men" running? So are white's racist because they vote for a white person or is it just "their choice" of who they like?

    It is sickening to see all of this.

    March 11, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. barry

    I guess Tiger woods is where he is because he is black....not. Like Obama, he's just plain better(more talented, and works harder to boot) than everyone else.

    March 11, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. N0rm

    It's a shame but it's true

    March 11, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  22. Jonny

    The only think more sickening than this comment is reading some of the HRC supporters who actually agree.

    HRC motto: Winning at all costs, including my own party.

    March 11, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  23. FELISA

    Black people are voting for whom they think the most qualified candidate... plain and simple. Obama is the best, most inspiring contender who happens to be bi-racial.

    March 11, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. TXcollie

    Typical hypocrisy of Ferraro and the Clinton camp. If Ferraro were not a woman she would never have been nominated in 1984 and would now be a forgotten nobody. Obama has ideas and substance. That is why he is where he is and persons so strongly support him, rather than more of the same.

    March 11, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. Joseph

    Who is right and who is wrong? Politics is a dirty business, that's why they call it POLITICS. There is one way to solve all this, and that happens to be your one vote, so make it count. If you don't cast your vote you cannot complain later on.....

    March 11, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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