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. Erin

    Shame on you Geradine...shame on you!!!!

    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. DeeNC

    I don't believe Obama's campaign told her to speak to media and I do not believe Obama's campaign told her to basically reiterate the same thing again this morning. Imagine the firestorm had a member of Obama's camp said the only reason Hilary is where she is is because she is a woman. heck he fired someone last week for calling her a monster. I'll say this- the only reasons Hilary is still in this race is because Obama is black and the her last name is Clinton. For the Record- Obama has more legislative experience as than Hilary. And another thing what experience did Bill have to be Commander and Chief when he was running for president. How soon we forget.

    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. jer

    long overdue, but glad she stayed in long enough to bloody up clinton

    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Susan

    I wonder if she received a call from Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. She should have.

    Hillary, it's not too late for you to step down also. You might as well do it now.

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

    The truth hurts. Racism is back, SC had a white family beat up on a black newswomen, no only physical by verbal slur's. See for yourself on (Charmayne Brown,reporter)

    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. shane

    The democratic nomination has turned into a circus. It is very disheartening for sure. the party of "tolerance" are the ones that continue to talk about race! You would expect soemthing like this to come from republicans but democrats? No. I dont think geraldine ferraro should of said what she said simply because we all know the race issue is a sensitive issue. I personally dont care about someones race, but some people do. The thing with me is her comments just seemed kind of dumb. think about it for a second. She says that barack wouldnt be where he is at if he were a WHITE MAN. Its almost laughable when you think about the fact that 43 white men have been the front runner in the democratic party! ANd 43 whitle males have been president! In reality it seems that anyone but a white man would have DIFFICULTY gaining the presidency.

    Also if being black was somehow a built in advantage, then why didnt ALAN KEYES win when he ran for presidency? OR jesse jackson or al sharpton. barack is not the first black man to run for president. If he were the first black man to run for the presidency, then maybe she would have some credibility to her claims. But hes not.! ANd those BLACK men that did run did not do as well as obama is doing. SHe fails to state the obvious: Barack is doing so good because of his charisma, not his skin color. Its because of his eloquence, not his race. "He has the advantage because he's black" is something you dont hear in AMERICA everyday. In fact its totally absurd to think such a thing when you actually think about it.

    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. HC


    Thanks for all your work.

    You join an elite club of my surrogates and supporters who have crossed a bold line into dismissive, insulting, personal, denigrating, false, demeaning attacks against my opponent that have lowered the discourse, hurt the party, and appealed to the darker forces of our nature. I couldn't be more grateful.


    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. marie herrera

    this is so sad. i am in 100% agreement with Ferrero. we do not need obama in power. as a dem if clinton doesnt get the demnomination then come nov i will break party line and vote for mc cain even though i dont like the man he is better than obama. wake up people we are about to see reverse oppression wielded by obama if he gets office and as ferrero sd i too feel discriminated against all the time. it seems they can yell foul, unfair, discrimination, and get what ever they want and we are becoming the majority minority. dont put this man in power.

    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. Andrew

    I voted for Ferraro, If I knew then, what I know now, I would not have wasted it on her. Sometimes it takes a while for people to reveal the depths of their soul. Ferraro has done this, racist. Best that she stepped down and not drag Clinton in the mud with her.

    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. nht

    I think CNN needs to start asking people what their age is in these comments. It's obvious it is always fillaed with people that can not even vote yet. I'm glad to hear our media is being influenced by teenagers.

    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  11. n. miller

    I think that Ms. Ferraro should end the discussion and fade out of the spot light. She made a dumb statement that has upset a large number of people and now it is time to apology and fade away.

    March 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  12. Ags Win

    Ferraro made the exact same comments (almost word for word) about Jesse Jackson when he ran for president in 1984. Looks like she has a habit of racist comments.

    March 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. LisaMpls

    It's interesting that all of the online polls I have seen favor Ms. Ferraro...the majority of people say she shouldn't apologize and that she shouldn't resign. So maybe America does agree with her?

    March 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. robert

    she is such a piece of garbage...I hope she slithers back into her hole

    March 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  15. Dave, Milwaukee WI

    Wow...just wow. This woman is ten times more pompous and arrogant than Hillary. Never thought I'd live to see that.

    March 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. Peachy Keen

    You're still a racist. Of course, so is Hillary, she just won't say so until after she is out of this thing.

    On another note, now that Obama has won more delegates in Texas than Hillary, isn't it time she stopped claiming she won that state? Obama can now put it in his win column.

    March 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  17. karen

    Way to go taking the fall for your pal Hill, but I hate to break it to you, Gerry. There won't be a cabinet position for you down the road because your girlfriend is going to lose.

    March 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. Melissa

    To Grace, could you tell me what Hillary Clinton's middle name is, or John McCain's? Mitt Romney's? John Edwards? Didn't think so. The only reason Obama's comes up is to encourage the false belief that he is a Muslim. And free speech is alive and well - Ferraro said something that people did not like, and she was called on it. Having free speech does not mean that we can say whatever we want and everyone else has to accept it. The fact that Obama was a constitutional law professor is yet another reason why he has my support.

    March 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. Peggy

    About time!!!

    There is not place for those kinds of remarks in this race!

    March 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. Dale

    Hillary Rodham would have never made it as far as Hillary Clinton has. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    March 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  21. Scrinine

    Sorry Geraldine, too late, after your comments (which were never repudiated by the Clinton campaign) I'm over "The Hill".

    March 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. Chuck

    I feel badly for Geraldine and yet am stunned by her comments.
    Unfortunately two shining lights of the Democrats, Spitzer and Ferraro, have hurt the Democratic Party with their poor judgement!

    March 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  23. Chris

    Wow, what a petty grump of an old woman.

    March 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  24. Mike Richardson

    CNN, why this board is dominated by 90% of Obama supporters, and why those Obama supporters are always so bitter and hateful? Obama claimed that his supporters are ‘well-educated’ ‘up-scale’ voters. Are you kidding?

    March 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  25. Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure, Ph.D.

    For Ms. Ferraro and those who agree with her that she was stating a fact, would they feel comfortable if anyone were to make a comment that Senator Hillary Clinton has been successful in those states she won because she is a woman? Wouldn't that be sexist and demeaning to her?

    March 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
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