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. White woman for Obama

    What's wrong with blacks voting for Obama? Please every one else keep your racist comments to yourselves. Geraldine Ferraro has enough skeletons in her closet. She should keep her mouth shut!

    March 11, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Jon

    What the hell is wrong with our country any more? Why do we all of a sudden have to start apologizing for everyone else's comments?

    March 11, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. bob

    Ferraro ,she just put her foot in her mouth...shame on you fat lady....

    March 11, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. jonfhad

    the truth is, there are many racist people here in USA. They had been quiet all of this time, im just glad the true colors of america is starting to come out. And its very sad how many still wants such racism to continue. Obama isn't just about words. And hopefully he will be able to change this sad world called "United" States of America.

    March 11, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Mike




    FALL HARD FOR THE SAME (Clinton's)!!

    March 11, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. Myra


    March 11, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    "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"

    Dear God, turn the page on these DINOSAURS who just don't get it that this is what has to change.

    March 11, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Tim H

    The Clinton campaign has been demeaning and borderline racist from the beginning. First, Bill's comments about Obama in S.C. The comments about Obama's drug use. Then the picture from Kenya. Then offering the VP to Obama when he is ahead. All of this is borderline racist, and demeaning to Obama. Now this? Ferraro is a top fundraiser. I am sure Billiary or at the very least, Wolfson has had this conversation about Obama's race. I am sure she didn't pull it out of thin air! And all Wolfson can say is that they reject these comments. How about an apology? How about finding out how deep these feelings run CNN?

    March 11, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Oddy

    So the racism has surfaced again. it hurt Hillary before in SC but I guess her people have not learnt anything. Al Sharpton and Jackson are black but I would never dream of voting for them like I am voting for Obama. Wake up madam Ferraro!

    March 11, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Faith

    I think she is right and she does not need to apologize. If Obama were white the media would not have been so easy on him, no one would have thought she was inspirational, and he would have been heavily criticized on lack of experience. This is not racism, just like affirmative action is not racism. We have let black students into colleges with much less credentials then white students. This was needed so that a part of our society that was and still is unfairly treated could have a chance. We are doing the same thing for Obama, setting the bar lower so that a black man can become president. Let's admit it and accept it.

    March 11, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. K

    To whomever moniters which comments make the board or not I have one question: What are you afraid of? other people on the board who might agree with me or your bosses? You will let someone with "jihad" post a comment but my comment frighten's you or more to the point "the truth" CNN is very much apart of the establishment from my comments, you know what they say: what's done in the dark will soon come to light.

    March 11, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Ca Native

    FUNNY how the TRUTH these days gets labeled racist sentiment. And isn't it true Hillary wouldn't be where she is if not for her "CLINTON" last name? Had she been a Rose Law Firm attorney in east-bumble Arkansas, there is no WAY she would have won a Senate seat from New York or been in the Presidential Race.

    They both are social opportunists.

    March 11, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Roger

    Maybe Obama plays the race card too much, but then again Clinton lives and dies by the gender card. I swear a large majority of Hilary supporters are woman who feel obligated to support her simply because of her gender. I guess the same can be said about Obama supporters and the race issue. Seriously though, what ever happened to sticking with the issues?

    March 11, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. ty webb

    This just shows who the type of people that support clinton really are, unintelligent, outlandish, and insecure idiots. This women is moron, and Hillary is a liar, plain and simple. She has based her campaign on her idiot Husbands political playbook,just lie, lie, lie, and make facts up that have no basis in reality; just keep lying your way to the top Hilldog-the country is not going to buy it this time

    March 11, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Nick

    Hilldog!! Loving her blind supporters since 1992!!

    March 11, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. Progress

    Lots of blacks have turned away from Hillary after Bill introduced the Race Card in South Carolina. Bill also used the term "Fairy tale", undermining Obama's ability. He also used the term "Flipping the coin", implying that everything will turn upside down. Now they want Obama as Vice President. Are they having second thoughts about Obama's ability? Bill and Hillary, Americans are disillusioned.

    March 11, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Island Boi

    here we go again, another "polytric" by the Clinton administration. Hillary was quick to jump on Obama when one of his supporters referred to her as a monster. Here we go again playing the race card, no matter what Hillary tries, Obama will be president.

    OBAMA 08!

    March 11, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. Luis

    Changing Washington.
    You can change partisanship to DICTATORSHIP. Not sure that is what I want.

    March 11, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. Jasmine-az

    Its not about being black...Black people have voted for he white candidate when Jesse Jackson was running...

    Black people didn't vote for Al Sharpton...Or would have never voted for Al Sharpton.. Black , White, Hispanic, Asian people, and everyone in between are voting for Obama because he is the right choice..

    Obaama 08!!!

    March 11, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. cindy

    Think about it this way-If Obama was white, would he be getting 90% of the black vote??? NO probably not...that is what she meant. Everyone knows it's true! I love people who can tell the truth.

    March 11, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. mike

    I don't quite understand the quote. What was the context? Sounds like the Obama camp is playing the race card again, further alienating the white male voters he would need to win the nomination. The ones he isn't getting now. This is a dangerous card to play....

    March 11, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. Hillary unsensord visit youtube. get the picturte yourself.

    Obama is a good man that is why the people are loving him for his character. Not because he is black mix or white mix.

    Please I beg you to watch youtube video, it will make more sense why she is a scam fraud star. Know your presidential candidate fraudulent attitude guys, you should be tired of these kind of politicians making fool of us.
    Do YOU want New Life or New Direction? Vote Obama at least he hasn't been corrupt by washington.

    March 11, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. CaliDemo

    I concur with Ms. Ferraro. I think there is a level of "white" guilt happening without people realizing it. Everyone wants to seem so progressive in voting for Obama. Demagoguery or articulation does not effectively run a country however, our current administration is testament to that (sans the articulation). If the people of this country would blindfully elect Bush for two terms, it doesn't surprise me they would vote for someone because of media hype and their race and not for experience. It's a shame it looks as if this situation is starting to divide the Democratic party. Even as a life long democrat, I would more than likely not vote for Obama if he was the Democratic candidate. Sadly, I know others who feel the same.

    March 11, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Steve

    I would hope Clinton repudiates the remarks personally. Having Wolfson do it for her and immediately give a sharp criticism of Obama would not be good enough.

    March 11, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Tom Swift, NH

    Last week Gloria Steinem, this week Geraldine Ferraro.

    Women Hillary's age are sure giving a good showing as to why we may not want her to answer that 3am phone call ...

    March 11, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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