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. Obvious

    It has become obvious to me that CNN is now acting as Clinton's mouthpiece. Before, the CNN reporters were acting as Barack's mouthpiece. For this reason, I will continue blogging here to protest all the biased reporting which is intended to "stir the pot." Once the Democratic Convention ends, I will not watch this silly news channel again.

    March 12, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. orlando

    Ferraro just pointed out a known fact. Many people know it and no one dare to say it. I admire her for saying it and support her.

    Florida supports Hillary.

    March 12, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. Va

    And she is only in the position she is in because she is a woman and married to Bill Clinton. I could close my eyes and listen to his speeches and still want to vote for him – that has nothing to do with his race.
    Why isn't Hillary "rejecting" and "denouncing" Ms. Ferraro like she expects of Senator Obama. What a monster.

    March 12, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. Mary

    Sorry ,Geraldine...this was not a statement of fact: "information presented as objectively real". Her statement reflects an opinion; an interpretation of information. As an attorney you should know the difference.

    March 12, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. Monte Brown

    As a black man who voted for Hillary Clinton, I totally and emphatically agree with Geraldine Ferraro.

    March 12, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Amen sister! Finally, someone can say what we have all wanted to say!

    March 12, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. David

    Does the Clinton camp not see the growing number of Democrats posting comments like " if Hillary is the nominee I will stay home," or " I'd vote for McCain before her"? Ferraro and others are doing her much more harm than good. If they do not stop this kind of damage now Pennsylvania won't matter.

    March 12, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. Amy in Iowa

    Isn't this obvious that Hillary has a surrogate start her race baiting right before the Mississippi and most importantly PA primary. It is ugly and divisive and the kind of politics that most intelligent people despise. These dinosaurs need to crawl back in their holes.

    March 12, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. fred

    Hey Pennsylvania for Obama, Those 15-17 states are all RED states and he will not win them in November!!!


    March 12, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. Kate

    Your personal opinion isnt fact Ms. Ferraro, no matter how much you insist it is. You'd think someone who was a national nominee for Vice President would have a little brain power than this.

    March 12, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Sheri

    I don't think that Hillary has the correct judgement she needs to be a president

    March 12, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. Maria

    Dan Quayle (prior to VP), John Edwards vs. Obama – same education, same or more experience, also thought to be rising stars of their parties at one time, charismatic – Qualified for president NO. Think about it.

    March 12, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. ramd

    Wow...Now I know why she never became the vice president of the US.

    March 12, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. M.

    Why on earth am I still in moderation?????

    March 12, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Independent

    Clinton could be more clear: "I dont agree with her comments but I want the money she is helping me raise and that is more important to me than what she stands for because I dont really know what I stand for most of the time but I do know that I need the money to get back into the white house."

    March 12, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Yes You are!

    March 12, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |

    Can you just vote for the best candidate and stop your racial discriminiation? For goodness sake, its 2008!

    OBAMA '08

    March 12, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. Caldog

    Geraldine Feraro was true when she said she is not a racist. She is a bigot. A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from his or her own. The statement was highly inflamatory and should not have been said. It was convienent for her to spike the juice moving into the Penn primary knowing there are rural whites in the west side that will undoubtedly vote for HRC. She knew exactly what she was doing. The true colors are coming out now that HRC campaign is still trailing and the short lived momentum buster in the Ohio has faded away after Obama, while he lost the primary in Texas, won the Caucus and in fact, came out on top with more delegates. HRC camps have been complaining of sexism in the media and everywhere else, but I have to look at statements that were made, like, I am entitled to my stay in the white house – HRC. That is the most irresponsible remark - I have lost all respect for the Clintons and I hope that the American people see through all of this Bull and continue to promote the most honorable candidate which now is Obama for the Dem Nominee first and Sen McCain second.

    March 12, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. Ann

    Hilary won the popular vote in Texas...sounds like a Bush/Gore 2000 redo.....

    Hilary or McCain in 2008!!!!!

    March 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. Marisol Fitzpatrick

    Ferraro is blatantly racist and her ignorance clearly prevents her from being able to see this. Well, she's just like Hillary and Bill so why should we be surprised by her statements.

    By the way, I'm a Latina woman who will never support Clinton. Even if Hillary manages to pull enough shenanigans to 'steal' the nomination from Obama at the convention, which I would not put past her, I will simply write him in as my choice in November. No thinking person should vote for Clinton and hopefully people will wake up in time.

    The popular vote and number of delegates do count but we already know that fairness doesn't. This woman has completely exaggerated her so called accomplishments and no one calls her on this. Do your memories fade that rapidly?

    March 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  21. Amy, Kazoo

    how about a little levity?

    wanda sykes on Ellen today:

    "I'm for Obama. But I'm worried because if he wins, black people are going to have to come up with another excuse. You can't blame 'the man' when you ARE the man"

    funny lady

    March 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. Mila Warner

    Go Gerry....I mean Geraldine. :)m

    March 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. Brad

    What are all these advantages that black men in America get? This whole line of reasoning is patently absurd.

    March 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. Mark

    If I've said it once, I've said it 20, 60, 100 times... If Obama was only popular because of his race, we'd have already had presidents Sharpton and Jesse Jackson by now. These comments are just distressingly misleading and misguided.

    Poor Geraldine. Hillary's been so patient with her, to the detriment of her own campaign, but Ferraro is really giving her no choice. Three comments in 36 hours? It's getting harder and harder to believe that this succession of prejudiced statements isn't being approved, or even coordinated by the Clintons. They're going to have to sever ties with her, or accept the fact that people will jump to that conclusion.

    March 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  25. RC

    I forgot to add this, if Geraldine actually believes that if Senator Obama were white he wouldn't have made it thus far, that is an actual blatant lie.

    The fact is Senator Obama is WHITE and African-American! How quickly people forget. That's why he is able to unite people, he lives in both worlds. His mother is white, her parents are white, he has white uncles, aunts, cousins.

    Also his sister is WHITE and Indonesian which gives him the more depth as a person. He's lived in a foreign nation and off the mainland in Hawaii.

    I bet you Geraldine has lived on the mainland in WHITE communities and WHITE America all her life. She only knows what she's been taught by her elders and being born in 1935 says it all!

    March 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
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