March 12th, 2008
05:05 PM ET
15 years ago

Breaking: Ferraro steps down

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Ferraro stepped down after several days of controversial remarks."] (CNN) - Geraldine Ferraro has stepped down from her role as a member of Hillary Clinton's finance committee.

In a letter to Clinton obtained by CNN's Suzanne Malveaux - who spoke with the former vice presidential candidate shortly after she sent it to Clinton - Ferraro said she is stepping down so, "I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what is at stake in this campaign."

In a phone conversation with Malveaux, Ferraro said she was not asked to step down by Senator Clinton or her campaign.

Ferraro said thousands of people are part of the finance committee, saying it is not a staff position, but a voluntary one for those who raise money for the campaign. She also said she has raised $125,000 for Senator Clinton.

When asked if she had any regrets about what she said, Ferraro replied, "absolutely not."

"I am who I am and I will continue to speak up," she said. She added that she thought it was a shame that the Obama campaign was trying to block her First Amendment rights, and that she felt that was no way to conduct a campaign.

She said, "it's not me slicing and dicing," a reference to Obama's comments earlier in the day accusing Ferraro of dividing the party.

Ferraro said David Axelrod, Obama's campaign manager and an acquaintance, should have called her to ask her the intention of her remarks, which she says the Obama campaign used to hurt Clinton.

When asked how she felt about Hillary Clinton distancing herself from her remarks, Ferraro replied, "I am perfectly fine," and that there were no hard feelings. She said she understands what Clinton is going through, and understands that being part of a presidential campaign is "very hard."

Full letter:

Dear Hillary -

I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what is at stake in this campaign.

The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you. I won't let that happen.

Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to make this a better world for my children and grandchildren.

You have my deep admiration and respect.


(Updated 6 p.m. ET with additional reporting.)

CNN's Matt Hoye contributed to this report.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. Mike in Texas

    Not good enough. Billary should have asked her to step down.
    G.F. is a good example of a real racist. She can't even see the problem with what she said and why it's wrong. She needs to seek help.

    March 12, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. Gaby

    Geraldine may have stepped down, but she is still plans to fund raise to contribute to HRC's campaign, So if Hillary were to accept this funding, then this means she condones what Geraldine has said . What happened to denounce and reject HRC?

    March 12, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. Sharon

    The conduct of the Clinton campaign has been disturbing, divisive and racist! I voted for Hillary in my state's caucus and am a delegate to a county convetion this weekend. Because of these disgusting, over-the-top tactics by the Clinton campaign, tactics I believe are destroying the Democratic Party, I'm changing my vote and will now support Barrack Obama.

    March 12, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. Elaine Wilson, Kentucky

    Don't think you are hurtin Hillary . This is hurting obama

    March 12, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. Freida NYC

    No matter how much you tried to divide us Mr. Obama, you are not getting my vote. It is either Hillary or Mc.Cain. Now, are you going to call me racist for saying this? What happened to freedom of the speech...of course only it it suits you, right!?

    Obama please go away! You are making blacks and whites hate each other, and instead of moving forward in history we are going backwards. Is this the kind of change you are preaching about?


    March 12, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. Jim

    Come on America. This is the United States of America, the greatest country in the world. But I have to tell you that I'm a white male and I am not very proud of my country right now. Our children as well as the world are watching us. We need to get it together and stop acting like spoiled children who what to take their ball and go home. We can disagree, but it's wrong when it gets personal. Grow up America!!!!

    March 12, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Larry Buchas

    Another point. Get a grip, Obama supporters. Hillary has rejected Ferraro's comments. Those comments were completely stupid and even Clinton staffers agree. But some of these "geezer" comments are just as bad.

    Clinton supporters,
    You need to distance yourself from this vindictive, hateful old lady. Obama & Hillary are the two best candidates remaining, not McCain.

    Unless you want the Supreme Court to turn into a right-wing reversal of our laws?

    March 12, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Arthur-Texas

    She told the truth and it hurt her.Now we must all be very careful what we say regarding Obama.We cannot even mention his middle name.
    What is going on?Do we have freedom of speech or not?The fact is many white people are supporting him because they feel they owe him something becuase of his race,but remember that his family were not slaves (at least not in the usa),therefore one should not feel guilty about that.

    March 12, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. Terry, TX

    Gerry, how do you explain the fact that Obama won the whitest states in the nation (idaho, iowa, etc....)
    It's because he is black right...

    Maybe you need to make a stop in rehab in order to have a brain check.

    March 12, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |

    Gerry, needs to move on and quit living in the past. You are a racist and you have outlived your time. Go bury your head up your rear you did the same thing with Jessie Jackson and caused problems for Mondale.

    March 12, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |

    Man am I enjoying this! Watching the democrats nightly round of flaggellation and stupidity is a better reality format than American Idol or Survivor could ever hope to be.Of course the news creeps who run CNN FOX PMSNBC ABC CBS and NBC just love it. Keep it up you fools!

    March 12, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. inem jack

    I think the candidates should concentrate on the issues. Enough of these distractions.

    March 12, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. Obama Spins out of Control

    This Obama is just swinging out of control. It's too bad it has come to this. I think you are doing more harm than good.

    March 12, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. terry

    So long!

    You won't be missed!

    March 12, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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