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. Arin

    Gloria Steinem and now Geraldine Ferraro.... good role models for American women? Not a chance! I am happy to see young women everywhere, beneficiaries of the sexual revolution of the 60s are using their minds to vote for Obama. Todays (young) women are smart, successful and pragmatic. They vote for the best candidate, Barack Obama, and do not vote with tribal mentalities like Gloria and Geraldine. Give it a rest Ferraro.... oh yah and you should apologize too. You are racist.

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Steven Klein

    Another Clinton joke! Who does Geraldine Ferraro think she is? If she had not been a woman in 1984, there isn't a way in the world she would have gotten the VP nomination from Walter Mondale. She was an obscure Congresswoman, and typically for the Democrats, the worst choice for Eagleton, Lieberman type of bad choice. She did nothing for Mondale but cost him votes, and not because she was a woman, but because she was a not very bright, lousy candidate. She helped give us four more years of Reagan, the Iran Contra matter, and many more divisions in this country. If she had had 5% of Barack Obama's brain, Mondale might have had a chance. She has been a bitter person ever since, as evidenced by this latest comment. It is time for her to exit the political stage, and the fact she is a superdelegate is testimony why they shouldn't have a vote. If you check out the breakdown of superdelegates, Obama and Clinton are about even between Senators, Congressman, and Governors...Clinton's entire lead consists of members of the Democratic National Committee, like Ferraro...this is the evil of the system stacked against Obama. are done, exit stage.

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. Lynda

    I do not think she will repudiate anyone for any undecent comments because this is the way she is. Desides, the Clinton camp is willing to do any unthinkable things to win this nomination. It is jus ashame to see how far she can go. Fortunately, Obama is clean!

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Danno O.

    "crazy broad"????? - thank you for confirming the point about sexism being alive and well.

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. T-bone

    You could take that one step further and say the only reason Hillary is where she is, is because she's Bill's wife.

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. FortressAmerica

    I hope that she will come out to both "Denounce" and "Reject" Ferraro and her inapporpriate and racist remarks. She should send a strong message by asking Ferraro to resign.

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. Tshirt

    Good grief is right! The surrogates and supporters are getting the campaigners into more hot water than the candidates themselves!

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. Hillary-Persistence&Smarts 08

    Is that what we are going to hear every day if Barrack is nominated and maybe becomes president? HIs constant crap about racism while his supports are the most sexist people that I have heard, including Obama. Equaility is not only about race you little minds and zero souls.

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. Florida Voter

    Hillary better fire her. Barack dismissed one of his advisors for less, unless monsterism is worse than racism???

    Of course Hillary is going to suggest a " Dream Ticket" She's clung to the coat tails of her impeached husband as far as they'll take her. Now the Obama train is flying by and she is grasp for his coat tails... The new rails of success and Hillary knows she's on the wrong track!

    No Mail-In Voting in FL – It's against our state law. Don't count our delegates as Howard Dean has said – FL broke the rules. We need to replace our legislature as a penalty to them.

    March 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. Maurice

    With so many racist comments coming from HRC's campaign, as a black man myself I call upon all the black leaders who are still supporting this campaign to denounce the comment and force HRC to denounce and reject this stupid woman who thinks that a Harvard graduate cannot be in that position, mind you Obama is 50/50 half white ...half black ... I can see that this woman still leaves in the past. the world have changed partisanship wouldn't help anymore. It's crucial that America comes together to fight all the bad spirits of terror

    March 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. Scott M.-Kalamazoo, MI

    The Clinton campaign has played the 'suttle' race card from the beginning and you're a fool if you think otherwise. As a white male who actively worked to get Bill Clinton elected in the 1991 campaign season, I can honestly say, ENOUGH OF THE CLINTONS. This campaign has been a nasty, dirty, lying, cheating campaign from the get-go and only proves that its time for a changing of the guards. The era of the Bush/Clintons needs to come to a screeching hault. I'd just as soon vote for McCain than have four years of Clinton back in the Whitehouse.

    March 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. Swalker327

    Ferraro's comments only echo the realitiy of a Hillary win. STATUS QUO. Let's get rid of these idiots and move on to a better way of doing things and more importantly a new American prospective. Hillary's desire to get the nomination has forced her into showing her true colors and charater. Can you say desperate???!!! The hypocrisy is overwhelming me!!

    GO OBAMA!!!

    March 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. Dalton

    If Hillary Clinton doesn't want to appear as a HUGE hypocrite she should "denounce and reject" these statements or risk never getting another black vote ever

    March 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Tamar Jacobson

    Bigotry. Well, I wonder if Hillary Clinton will feel no shame to become the nominee under that shadow – check out the brilliant Op Ed piece in the New York Times today: "The Red Phone in Black and White."

    This is the second time that supporters of Hillary have been racist! Remember that older Latino woman in Texas? And it took Hillary a full day to come out and "reject and denounce" her comment, as I recall.
    Tsk. Tsk, Hillary!

    March 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. Eli

    We all know that the African American community has gotten more to vote this Presidential primary than ever before and that WHITES and BLACKS are coming out for him with many making a statement that if we vote an African American man into the White House that other countries will look and see that we are becoming more diverse. So why is this now considered a racist comment. Talk about the Obama team grasping at straws. Now it seems that Obamas campaign is just like all other Washington political campaigns, twisting peoples words. He is sounding more like Sharpton and Jackson with their racism remarks all the time if someone disagrees with them.

    March 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Ramon Rodriguez

    Will Hillary reject and denounce her remarks I don't think so
    this is way worse than the monster remark

    March 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Ryuken

    Pretty sure everyone agrees with this. As sickeing as it is I know many many Republicans that are supporting Obama in the primary because they are scared they can't beat Hillary in the general.

    March 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. Kurtis

    Give me a bleeping break! Hillary is not a racist. Ridiculous. The first and last cry of any African American who loses to a white is always racism. But when entire black communities vote for the black man just because he is black and gives a good speech, everyone is too freaked out over some misplaced sense of white guilt to point out the racist elements there.

    Regardless, this is more about sex than race. We were all socialized as male and female long before we were aware of the color of our skin. So all you race card junkies…get over yourselves.

    March 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. Realistic

    Between Ferrarro and Spitzer, this should give America a good idea of the Clinton clique that seeks office.

    At what point is somebody going to point out that Hillary's dirty campaigning has caused the pro-Obama supporters and moderate Republicans to despise her, such that Hillary is unelectable in the general election?

    Some day America will elect a woman president, but it will not be Hillary with all of her dirty tricks and dirty baggage.

    March 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. CB

    Senator Clinton, is this your plan for getting big numbers in the Pennsylvania primary? Ms. Ferraro didn't want to be reached for comment because, she knew that was bull when she said it. But on the other hand, if this was something the Clinton Campaign wanted her to do. That's loyalty, big time! Golly Gee Hillary, just how many stupidly loyal supporter remarks do you need to smear an opponent?

    March 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  21. Deidre, Birmingham

    Why is this uncategorized under Barack or Hillary?

    March 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  22. Nando, Florida


    March 11, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  23. kidvidkid

    Don't forget, HRC: it's not "reject" - it's "reject AND denounce."

    Between this and Howard Wolfson's "Obama's not ready now but could be by the convention" (great! then we'll nominate him for the convention), I have to suspect the Clinton campaign's donut budget has been reallocated to a liquor store!

    March 11, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  24. michael eastham

    My GAWD who does Ferraro think she is – "telling the truth like it is" shame on her!!

    March 11, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. not a superdelegate

    how vile

    March 11, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
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