March 12th, 2008
05:05 PM ET
13 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. Anonymous

    what a loser.

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. Jennfizz

    "Fact" according to Geraldine Ferraro is not necessarily fact for those who are not privileged.

    At her age, Geraldine Ferraro should be the voice of wisdom rather than voicing this foolish drivvel – Shame on you!!!

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. matt

    Obama is evil for taking this type of aproach toward Hillary! he will continue too divide the democrats and force people like myself to vote mccain

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Kay Tuner

    i am glad she is gone. Her thinking has no place in US poitics. She will be speacking for herself in the racist arana. who cares???? Obama and Clinton are more civilized!!!

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  5. WhoKnows

    Her blaming the Obama campaign for the amount of negative reaction she has received over her own insulting words is baffling.
    Hardwork and a need for change is why Obama is in the position he is in. She is an idiot.

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. Mr. C.

    God!!! This Woman really is Racist. Can someone just get rid of her already!!! As long as she is clinton's Supporter, anything she says in the future about race would hurt the clinton's campaign whether she's still in the camp or out of the camp. Old women these days, they just don't get it.

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  7. Jason Troupin

    Ferraro is a has been politician who used the current campaign to draw attention to her self one last time. But of course, Hillary likes surrounding herself with people of this caliber. This makes me want to see Obama win even more.

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. LisaMpls

    Obama is wasting too much time on Ms. Ferraro today. It's not like she was one of Hillary's top advisors. She was a fundraiser. There is a difference. Obama constantly talks about how people are "divisive." That talk alone makes things worse. His finger-pointing is not exactly unity-inspiring. Just leave it be and move on.

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. Adam

    "The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you."

    Uh, no Geraldine. You made an unabashedly racist statement, and AMERICA is attacking you. Every pundit on television. White people, brown people, black people – EVERYONE.

    Obama's camp never even used the term "racist" – EVERYONE ELSE DID. Not to mention you said the SAME thing about Jesse Jackson in '88.

    You have a pattern of discrediting black politicians because of their skin color.

    Good riddance.

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. RT

    Its Obama's fault that I made racist remarks!!!

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. go_obama

    At last, she resigns. Go Obama!

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. DaCoach

    Just wondering. Is it any coincidence that around the time of two strong Obama showings in states with high black populations that one of Clinton's inner circle just happened to remind us that Barrack got the black vote and he just happens to be black.

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. Jason E

    It's about time. What a disgusting woman. How dare she accuse the Obama campaign of racism. That is not only offensive, it's idiotic. Is there no sewer to which Clinton's surrogates won't happily sink in the name of taking Obama out of the race? Jesus. Ferraro is gone – now it's Hillary's turn to bow out. Won't happen a moment too soon.

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. Tim

    Actually you hurt yourself. The damage has already been done, but thank you for stepping down.

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  15. Jazz

    I understand Gerry. Keep the faith. Time will back your truth up.
    You have my deep admiration and respect also. It's just politics people. It's all in the game. Take it to the convention Hill. May the BEST WOMAN WIN. Hillary '08 !!!!

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  16. Baida

    Dear Gerry;

    Thank you for your smart move, it seems that your trick is working. If I get the nomination you will be my VP.


    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  17. Jessica

    Give me a break!

    March 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. Hillary

    wow. When Samantha Power stepped down, she apologized and was full of honor.

    What a difference. Geraldine, you sound bitter and vindictive.

    March 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. Scott C

    Power of the Obama campaign apologized for what she said about Hilly even though it was all true.

    Obama denounced her comments.

    Ferraro doesn't apologize in any way for what she did, she stands by it and actually thinks the Obama camp is at fault over this.

    Clinton has yet to denounce what Ferraro said about Obama.

    Clinton most likely agrees with Ferraro...

    Her comments are a slap in the face to every American who voted for Obama and is a scapegoat for why Clinton is doing so poorly.

    Clinton needs to denounce and reject him now. She says she rejects racism... well now it is time to see if she IS solutions and not just speeches.

    March 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  20. grace

    To bad Ms. Ferraro has to stop doing her job just because everyone is too PC and fawning to realize what she said is the truth. Where o where has free speech gone? I would also like to ask, why can't any one say Obamas' middle name? Is he ashammed of it?

    March 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. Politico Jonze

    Expect the gloves to really come off with her now. I would like to see somebody ask her if she believes Hillary is benefiting among certain voter blocks because she is a woman. It would be a logical question. Another logical question would be if she feels that a certain percentage of people are not voting for Obama because he is black.

    Obama needs to walk away from this fight, as he can't win now as she'll gladly go down if she can bring him down with her. He needs to take the high road or ignore her altogether.

    March 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Jesse - San Antonio TX

    Punished for telling the truth.

    What is America coming to?

    We have to always tip toe around some minority block so their feelings don't get hurt.

    March 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. Jackson

    Just goes to show that Obama should not be a Democratic candidate at all ... he should have his own party ... call it Obama-maniacs ... the real democrats are for Hillary.
    Hillary '08 ... all the way for the USA!

    March 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. tom

    Is it any wonder why there has been only two dem administrations since the sixties? This is a COMPLETE collection of losers.

    McCain '08

    March 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. NY'er

    Ferraro is a heroine and leader and should not be silenced by the Obama campaign. She speaks her mind and has the right to do so in America.
    I comment her for her last words and hope the best for her.

    March 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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