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. John Edwards

    While voting at my caucus, my own race made me feel like a traitor because I did not vote for Obama.

    March 11, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. john s

    I have to agree with her since he doesn';t have a strong track record of voting and doesn't have the experience being only half way through his first Senate term. He is charismatic and a great speaker but change without stating what is changing is not good. Change for the sake of change is not good. And the media has been hesitant to say anything against him for fear of being labeled racist by black leaders. The vote should not be based on color or gender but on the ability to do the job. The Democrats seem to be bringing up the race or gender card more and more.

    March 11, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Nancy McGreevy

    And if Geraldine Ferraro wasn't married to a rich, connected businessman and major party contributer, she would have never reached running for the vp spot. Shut up you has been!

    March 11, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. truthurts

    Clinton supporters keep talking about the 80% of blacks voting for OBAMA. but if you look at any other presidential race whites voted 90 to 95% for a white person....we've had 43 white presidents. Wake up.

    Someone also needs to tell GF that all the black presidents before OBAMA disagree...and OBAMA is half white so....

    March 11, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. MT

    So we know John McCain is trying to re-fight the Vietnam War in Iraq. Now we see Geraldine Ferraro trying to relive her own failed attempts at the vice presidency AND US Senate by pumping up Hillary and bashing anyone who dares stand in her way.

    PUHLEEZE!! I'm ashamed to be in the same party as someone who would make such a comment. Go back to whatever you were doing before Hillary's candidacy gave you a chance to live vicariously, Ferraro! And don't think America has forgotten that you were officially criticized by the House Ethics Committee for mishandling your own campaign finances!! Disgusting comment!

    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!

    March 11, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Michael L. Cliff

    What a joke! I think it's very deserving of this knuckleheads campaign. Acutally both the democrats! It's OK for the liberal media and the democrats to Bash Bush and the Republicans, but when the shoe gets on the other foot, it's a different story. Change will come, hopefully with a someone who "stands for something" and not just when it's popular to. I'm sure in his time Abraham Lincoln wasn't a very popular president. Now the know-it-alls say he is one of our best. Let's learn from our history ...ya think?!

    March 11, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. chris-seattle

    my god there are a lot of stupid people out there.

    March 11, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. Diane

    I am so disappointed in Ms. Ferraro. I was thrilled to vote for the Mondale/Ferraro ticket in 1984. At that time she represented someone who personified the values of the Democratic Party on gender issues. She should be ashamed to allow her gender partisanship push her to base racial divisiveness. Goodbye Geraldine! You have been someone I respected for over 20 years. I suppose, according to your logic, JFK won the presidency because he was Catholic?

    March 11, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Ron

    The Black People of our nation has made this all about his color and are trying to live there American dream and that is not the same dream we white people have and it would not be fair to us that we cant live our dream that we have worked for decades for.So lets face it people we have a racist campaign and there is nothing we can rally do about it except VOTE and may the best one win

    March 11, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. Alex H

    To Jack Morris – "If there was a white candidate and 85 to 95% whites voted for him, they would be called racist."

    Nah, they'd just call him a Republican ^_^

    March 11, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. PhillyinKY

    The idiot I'm referring to is George Bush, our current so called president

    March 11, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Xtina, Chicago, IL

    I want to see how Clinton is going to, quoting Governor Spitzer "shuck and jive" out of this one, as well as Governor Spitzers own scandal..lmao

    March 11, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. rachae

    For the people who are saying Obama wouldn't be winning if he wasn't black. He won the states with the whitest populations by big margins Idaho, Utah, Dakota, Maine and so on. The blacks only make up 12% of the population. There is no way he would win even if all of us voted for him. And we obviously aren't, some of us our republican, independent and they are not even being polled because they are outside of the democratic party.

    March 11, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. GirlTexas

    cindy, ummmm...the caucus results from texas are sooooo NOT officially in. furthermore, due to the overwhelming number of o-blah-blah-blah-ma shenanigans in the caucuses, the results are crap anyway and will most likely be the subject of numerous lawsuits. you obamabots really don't check your facts, do you?

    March 11, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. Linda

    I remember Geralidine Ferraro's candidacy and her comments disappoint me. I hoped for more from her.

    And to "Jihad": I know you're not a Muslim (because I am). Stop hiding behind a fake identity to stir up trouble. Everything you said is a bunch of rubbish and you know it.

    March 11, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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