March 12th, 2008
12:15 PM ET
15 years ago

Ferraro: My comment wasn't racist, it was a fact


Watch Ferraro's comments Wednesday.

(CNN) - An unapologetic Geraldine Ferraro said Wednesday morning that her comments about the electoral impact of Barack Obama's race have been taken out of context, and that she stands by her words.

Ferraro stirred controversy with her recent remarks that Obama's campaign was successful because he was black.

"It wasn't a racist comment, it was a statement of fact," she said on CBS' Early Show, adding that she would leave Hillary Clinton's national finance committee if she were asked, but would not stop raising money for the New York senator's presidential bid. She also blamed Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, for misinterpreting her remarks.

Ferraro also told ABC's Good Morning America that "every time" someone makes a negative comment about Obama, they are accused of racism.

Late Tuesday, she told interviewer that she felt she was being attacked because she was white.

"Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up," she told the (Torrance, California) Daily Breeze. "Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?"

Full story

Related: Watch a clip of Ferraro's interview with Diane Sawyer

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (326 Responses)
  1. TRW

    As a black man, I will say, if Hillary is nominated, she will never get my vote.

    March 12, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  2. Terri Patanus

    I agree with her it is a fact!

    March 12, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  3. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    You can keep telling yourself lies, Ms. Ferraro, but the real fact is that your comments were racist. And I wouldn't be surprised to learn your logic is screwy because you're just an angry old woman. You're no better than Sen. Clinton on her off-days.

    March 12, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. Maestroh

    Let's face it: nobody would even know who Geraldine Ferraro was if Walter Mondale had not decided to throw in the towel and make history by picking a woman – a woman, I might add, who was thoroughly unqualified at the time.

    We also see that double standard conservatives always point out: if Ferraro was a Republican, a distancing statement by McCain wouldn't be enough. (If you don't believe me, go ask Earl Butz). He'd need to fire the guy – oh, and then those bastions of racial harmony – Jesse and Al – would keep screaming about how this 'proves' all Republicans are racist.

    And any of you who think she's not doing this because she was sent out to do so? You're foolish. You know darn well Hillary wanted this done. That's how they play the game.

    March 12, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  5. Jags

    We believe that every man was made free...until of course we feel that we have to start shooting them down so we can get into power then they are below us.. Right constitution?

    March 12, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. ma

    Just how Black is Iowa????? Remember who won in that State!!!!!

    March 12, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  7. BGIV in NC

    First rule in politics: When you see that you have dug a hole, quit digging. Second rule of politics: Never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake. Keep on talking there Geraldine.............

    March 12, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  8. vincentjohn

    I agree with Ferraro 100%....the only reason is he's black...he has no experience...... not ready to be president..... and so UN AMERICAN...

    bravo geraldine.........for once your honest...

    March 12, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  9. sam

    Can you believe Geraldine Ferraro's comments that if Barack Obama were white he would not be in the position he is. That would mean he would be someone like John Edwards. And John Edwards is...oops

    March 12, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  10. Lou in Miami

    It's a fact Mam. for those of you that like to see it differently go ahead and live in denial.

    March 12, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  11. Sarah

    Geraldine is right! Obama doesn't have the resume and would have been out a long time ago, the media marketing of obama has given him more of a boost than he could ever have done on his own, and I have heard plenty of pundits including Bill Mahr he is voting for obama for "redemption."

    March 12, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  12. fred

    You go girl!!! Obama's camp is racist!!!

    March 12, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  13. Ash

    Where has she been all these years? She should go back wherever she came from. Frankly if Clinton campaign does not remove her, Obama should bring Samantha Power back.

    March 12, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  14. ross

    Ferraro is old politics at its best. Divisive, deceptive, and cunning.

    March 12, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |

    She sounds a bit disgruntled if you ask me. This is Senator's way of dividing the country...

    March 12, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  16. April

    I have always respected Ms. Ferraro for being a pioneer in getting women more acceptance in the political arena. However she is HURTING Hillary's campaign with her racist remarks. And had she just left it at the initial "Barack is successful because he is black" comment that would have been bad enough. But no, now she is saying that she is only being attacked because she is white. And THEN she goes on to say she's not racist? She is the one bringing race into the conversation. I'm an undecided democrat and really I like both Obama and Clinton (anyone but a republican please!) but she needs to just STOP now. Ugh. I thought we were trying to look PAST gender and race in this election? Why then is she insisting on bringing it up?

    March 12, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. Jorge

    "He won't win because he's Black... No wait.. The only reason he is doing good is because he Black." You guys are morons.... The guy is good at what hes doing.... Hillary is just getting her but kicked and now its because of his Color... Never mind that he has the backing of Utah, Iowa, Wyoming and many other states where White is the Majority....

    Give me a break..

    March 12, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  18. Rplat

    Geraldine, you know better than that. You can no longer express facts or tell the truth . . . you must simply toe the politically correct line or be crushed.

    Silly woman.

    March 12, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. Gram

    She is correct. Anyone with any common sense will agree with Geraldine. That's why we older white women all support Hillary...been through the prejudice in jobs, know the truth.

    March 12, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. Patty Don't

    She's not a monster, we just don't agree with her.

    Whats good for the gander is good for the goose Hill, kick her to the curb.

    March 12, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  21. S. Bradford

    Way to go Geraldine......someone finally has the guts to speak the truth!

    March 12, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  22. MissyE

    Ms. Ferraro, you have a very unimpressive deck there. It seems to be full of LOW cards. You keep playing them. It's time for you to fold, you are no longer a player at the table. Shame on you.

    March 12, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  23. Brian

    It was racist and your lying to yourself by thinking otherwise

    March 12, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  24. avoteforobamaisavoteformccain

    Give em hell Ms.Ferraro!

    March 12, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  25. Marc A. Turnes (DeKalb, IL)

    Even if Obama's race as a sole reason for his success were a fact, which is highly debatable.. by the virtue of the same accusation, one could conclude that Clinton is only where she is because she is a woman (and a former first lady at that).

    Truly, she's an inspiration to millionaire former-First Ladies turned politicians everywhere.

    March 12, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
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