March 12th, 2008
05:05 PM ET
14 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. Paris

    Gerry, you are an honorable woman and I am saddened to see the Obama camp to use this.
    Race is a factor, it will be factor and there is no denying it.

    March 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. sam

    Telling the truth is not racism. Its the reality that matters. When people express in words what they see around them is not racism. If people say that 90% of the blacks voted for Obama in Mississipi – its not racism – its a fact – a reality!

    March 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. Hillary is the best.

    you obama supporters got it all wrong. Obama is the one playing race card.

    March 12, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA

    Does everybody in Hillary's camp play a victim?

    What is up with that?

    March 12, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. Elly

    Small loss in my speak with racist undertones you suffer the consequences and it really speaks volumes about your character as a person.Sad excuse for an American in my opinion!!

    March 12, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. John Wohlmut


    Look inside yourself and discover why you would want to use his middle name.

    If his middle name was English sounding you wouldn't even mention the subject.

    March 12, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. Obama 08

    What she is covertly saying is that she wants to feel free to be the racist she is. She made the comment. How is the Obama campaign trying to hurt Hillary? Geraldine we saw through you in 1984 and we can still see through you in 2008. Let pull out the old fork because Hillary's is done.

    March 12, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. noreen

    would someone at cnn please address Obama stating he did not campaign in Florida? he had air time here the night before the primary–why do people like wolf blitzer and jack cafferty ignore this fact? it appears this would be big news if another candidate did this. let us see who reports this first; cnn or msnbc?

    March 12, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. DFR

    Hillary Clinton has already damaged the chance of her or Obama to win in November. Why not keep Gerry on your team and continue what you've started.

    March 12, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Austin, Texas

    Hillary will win the Democratic nomination, or McCain will win the presidency. A very high percentage of Clinton supporters will vote McCain in a General Election based on experience during this time.

    Hillary can still offer change.
    Obama cannot offer experience.

    March 12, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. Ann

    What a pity, you can only resign to say the truth.

    March 12, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. vicki

    Geraldine Ferraro?? I thought she died several years ago.

    March 12, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  13. Kay

    See you later, you could not have resigned fast enough.

    Obama 08!!!

    March 12, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  14. Troy from Springfield IL

    Dig that hole, Gerry. Dig that hole!

    March 12, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. My Brain, Los Angeles, CA

    What about all the other states like Virginia, Iowa, Wi, and so on, that have voted for Obama. Those states don't seem to have a large black population, or did I miss something?

    March 12, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. DTNC

    Geralidine has done her duty, she has played the race card for Hillary. Mr. Obama is not a product of the "party" but is a self made success in the American Tradition, he deserves to be a candidate President.

    March 12, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. MickyD10

    Boy oh boy,

    If this whole thing wasn't contrived as a political ploy, I'll eat my hat. This whole thing is planned and calculated to piss off Hillary's main constituency............older women. Isn't it obvious???

    March 12, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. Jordan

    Mrs. Ferraro you should be mentor and an example to your children and grandchildren; However I am sure your children would rather vote for a candidate Obama, a person who stayed above your dirty politics in Washington!

    March 12, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Oh livin lord

    The Obama camp is attacking me to hurt you?

    What? Can someone explain that?

    I didn't even know who this woman was before she made her idiotic statement so congrats Gerry, you have now been branded as a moron by thousands of young voters like me. All of the positives you may have accomplished in the 80s means zilch to us now. Seeee ya

    March 12, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. D.Kimbro OHIO

    It is about time. What is going to happen in November?? I really think we will lose the White House again. It is a shame that this type of conversation takes our eyes of of deeper issues.

    March 12, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. voter

    GO GERRY! About time someone states the obvious, what she said was TRUE so get over yourselves!

    March 12, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  22. Jyh1920

    Drama queen....

    March 12, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. Ardnuas

    These kind of remarks are going to CAUSE the Republicans to WIN in November............You would think they would speak this way about John McCain, so they keep the Democrats united !!!!!
    This is a STUPID thing to do to your own Democrated Party !!!!!
    Obama/Edwards08 Si Se Puede

    March 12, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  24. Antonio, Alabama

    Hey Shane,
    I could have not said it better myself...... THANK YOU FOR THE MUCH NEEDED COMMON SENSE AND SANITY in this crazy situation...!

    March 12, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. Rosa

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out! Good riddance to you! And by the way, I'm not an Obama or Clinton supporter – I'm just tired of this sad display of a whacked out political process.

    March 12, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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