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. Michael

    Yes, because it was Ferraro's six years in Congress that got her the VP nod....

    March 11, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. patrick

    You could say the same thing about Hillary Clinton. IF she were a woman she wouldn't be in this position. She/it is a desperate immoral creature who will do and say anything to get her fix.

    March 11, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. Carolyn

    When asked what has he done and people can't answer well maybe it is a race issue kinda. CHANGE hahah he came up the same way with the same people in Washington plus some. He didn't change anything when he had the chance if it was so bad. Drink your koolaid kiddies.

    March 11, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. good grief

    This doesn't make a lick of sense because as many have pointed out that if most of the candidates wasn't who they were they'd wouldnt be as much of a presidential contender either.

    McCain – If he wasnt a war hero.
    Obama – If he wasnt black.
    Clinton – If she wasnt Bill Clinton's wife.

    Take that away from each one of them who do you think would still be here today?

    March 11, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. obama_mania

    even on npr one author said he would go to his grave believing that Obama is in this place because of what he is. not what he stands for.

    March 11, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Independent

    CNN, why are we even giving these bigots time on the air? They are obviously trying to polarize and divide the country!

    March 11, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. Adam, Pittsburgh

    WOW. As though Clinton would be in her position if she weren't a Clinton, or Ferraro would have been on Mondale's ticket if she weren't a woman. The unfairness quotient is actually worse in both instances! The "uppity black" sentiment is unmistakable.

    March 11, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Jay

    "That's just how it is" isn't a very satisfactory resolution in the argument about partisanship. Why is it that way? What are the benefits? Does it help or hurt our nation? Something simply being as it is has always been a poor excuse of a lazy mind– is it the best for our nation, and if not, how do we make it better?

    March 11, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Jamie NY

    Unfortunately, this not the first time Ferraro has brought up race against Obama, she did it back in December of 2007. There is a pattern of racially insensitive comments from the Clinton campaign. Hillary's campaign has a serious a problem. I suggest the Clintons lose Ferraro fast. People aren't supporting Obama because of white guilt and black voters–BULL! They're supporting Obama because he is more qualified than Clinton to be President.

    March 11, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Jackson

    Ferraro's comments are not racist ... they are her opinion and the opinion of many others. Watch the vote in Mississippi today and see if Obama does not get the black vote ... just as he did in South Carolina and the other heavily black populated areas, He carried Missouri because of the black vote in St. Louis. These are facts. Are we to hide our heads in the sand and pretend that being black has not made a difference for him?

    March 11, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. keg


    March 11, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. Tina, North Carolina

    For Hay Market:

    Right...Obama needs special treatment: educated at Columbia and Harvard...editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. Yeah...sounds like he can't make it on his own merit.

    Hay Market, considering your thinking process-just in case you don't get it, the above paragraph is sarcasm.

    March 11, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. Adjetey

    wait. who is this lady again? a Hillary advisor? (suck my teeth).

    March 11, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Rick

    Mississippi whites should vote for Hillary since all the blacks are voting for Obama. Obama and Hillary have similar agenda and inspite of that all Black are voting for Obama so all white should vote for Hillary. Go Mississippi White get your sister elected !!!

    March 11, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. Max Kil

    FIrst it was Ex Prez Clitnon with his comments "give me a break!" then it is Ferraro. Shame on YOU TEAM CLINTON. Kinda racist

    March 11, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. shelly

    So what!!
    If Hilary wasn't a woman, maybe we would have someone that would be more emotionally stable instead of changing a face to every occasion. We don't need the Clintons in the white house again, once is enough. Bill's trying to get in there again. Did anyone know that in country's in Europe they are still ridiculing his actions in the past. They think it is a disgrace, and so do I.

    March 11, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. SCarey

    Can someone save us from the righteous indignation of WOMEN! Oh, maybe the rest of us women can - these comments from another failed candidate who happens to be a woman are, again, symptomatic of what is wrong with the Clinton campaign and her candidacy. This is about her being a WOMAN, not about her being the better choice. And, unfortunately, she clearly is NOT the better choice – in fact, she really represents more of the same crap – business as usual, status quo, corruption and manipulation. Come on, people - she hasn't been mistreated by the press or observers – she has mistreated HERSELF.

    March 11, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Greg

    You people are incredible. Obama isn't here because he is black. Remember also that he's only half black. He's here because of his message, he's here because he's not a Clinton or a Bush. Yes black people support him, so what? How many white people don't support him because he is black? You're so quick to look at one side, you never ponder what is really happen. Are we saying white people are now 100% no racist? That's a hoot. I bet the blacks voting for him offset the whites not (because of racism). Obama is here on his own volition. Anyone that says otherwise is ignorant to the world around them.

    March 11, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. Duane

    Hillary is a carpetbagger from Arkansas who chose New York to take a political job. She is a magnet for decisiveness. Please tell me why anybody in their right mind would vote for Hillary. She is smart. She thinks she is smarter than everybody else. She manipulates laws and push to the brink of being dishonest. We know what the country will be like for the next 4 years if she is elected. It will be the same as under the last Clinton regime; in country fighting for 4 years.


    March 11, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. Lynn

    Posting from 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?

    Do you have a problem with blacks voting for blacks? Only whites can vote for whites? What planet are you from?

    March 11, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. Steve in Albuquerque, NM

    s.b. March 11th, 2008 10:54 am ET

    She is 100% correct.

    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!


    She is 100% incorrect.

    Not only has Clinton been given a free ride because of liberal male guilt and fear of being accused of sexism, if she was a man she would be laughed at and women wouldn't be voting for her either.

    Shame on her. Someone needed to say it!

    March 11, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  22. Tom(Philadelphia)

    What is this 1960? The fact that this is even being brought up by a Clinton supporter shows the kind of people she has on her side. I am a white male originally from St. Louis. I am an Obama supporter not because he is black but because of what he brings to the table. It is clear to me the only thing Clinton brings to the table is envy and greed. She doesn't care about little states, she just cares about winning. Just another power hungry candidate who will do anything to win. I have been with Obama since he won the seat in the Senate. Hillary is obnoxious, and her husband turns me off more so than Obama's wife. You want to throw stones Mrs Rice then try this on for size. I think Hillary is envious of her husbands fame and is trying to get back at him for cheating on her. I believe it is called "something" envy. Obama 2008!

    March 11, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  23. Stella

    Would Hillary be a major contender if Bill was not her husband and could not count the eight years of foreign policy "experience" as First Lady?

    Also, are we talking about the same black man that she and her supporters claim doesn't have enough experience to be President, BUT has enough experience to be VP??

    "Veterans for Obama"

    March 11, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  24. TSU

    The problem with her statement isn't so much in that it isn't true, it's that her own candidate is in a similar position. Just as we would expect more of a resume from Obama if he was a white male, Clinton would be no where near the candidacy if she wasn't married to a former president.

    Simply put, it's the pot calling the kettle black, for lack of a better phrase.

    March 11, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. Brandon

    How does the "monster" comment that was supposed to be off the record get more traction than these comments from one of Clinton's top advisors?

    March 11, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20