March 14th, 2008
08:30 AM ET
11 years ago

Ferraro: Obama camp 'did it to hurt Hillary'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Ferraro is standing by her original comment. "](CNN) - One day after she stepped down from her role in Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, Geraldine Ferraro said she blames Barack Obama's campaign for the uproar over her recent comments.

In an interview Thursday with CNN affiliate WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island, the onetime vice presidential candidate also said the Obama campaign made a mistake in taking aim at her remarks.

"I do think this was a mistake on part of the Obama campaign," she said. "They didn't have to do this, and they did it to hurt Hillary. I just think that's bad. I think it's bad business, and I think it's bad politics.

"I was accused of being divisive. I think those tactics are divisive," she added. "And the amazing thing is it's not something I started, its something they did in reaction to this."

Ferraro also implored Obama's campaign to turn "the spigot off the hate mail I am getting."

"I find it very, very upsetting," she said. " I've been called all kinds of names, and the attacks are ageist, they're sexist, they're racist. It's been very, very uncomfortable.

Ferraro resigned her fundraising post with Clinton's campaign on Wednesday, after taking heat for telling a newspaper last week that Obama's campaign was successful because he was black.

The Illinois senator's campaign denounced the comments on Tuesday and Obama himself called them "patently absurd." Clinton said she repudiated the remarks, though did not publicly call for Ferraro to resign.

In the interview Thursday, Ferraro suggested she did not regret making the comments, saying she was "talking to the facts," and that the issue of race has been raised several times in the campaign before, including by Obama himself.

"The enthusiasm you get from the black community over this black candidate is wonderful, and I don't think you can deny it," she said. "No more than I remember how people felt when I was running."

Ferraro, who was Walter Mondale's running mate in 1984, was the first woman to appear on a major presidential ticket. She has said she raised about $125,000 for Clinton's campaign.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Geraldine Ferraro
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. Amanda, Phoenix

    There was nothing wrong with her comments. They were taken out of context. She merely spoke the truth. If you say anything about Obama then you are a racist. Interesting how the media only reports the first sentence of her comments not the entire discussion. The fact of the matter is that Obama has done nothing since coming to the Senate except write a book and campaign for President. He is not even able to do the job he was elected to do because in his words "he has been busy campaiging"!! I do not understand the Obama bandwagon but that is ok - because he will not be President since the Democrats have succeeded in dividing the party – and effectively giving the Presidency to John McCain.

    March 13, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  2. Neal

    Geradine Ferraro I applaud you for your courage and your convictions. I think what you said had absolute merit, and I'm African-American.

    March 13, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  3. Joey

    WOW, it really sounds like she "left" the Clinton campaign. When they tell you you're done, you shut up. Powers isn't blaming her stupid comment on the Clinton campaign. Take some responsibility.

    March 13, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  4. jeremy

    of course it's obama's fault. him being black is the only reason she made those awful comments. what on earth is this lady talking about? i wish she would just go away.

    March 13, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. PD from CA

    The more Ferraro speaks... the more I can't stand her. I'm tired of Hillary's Political Machine trying to divide this race into women against men, white against black. It's repulsive. It's offensive. If she ends up representing the Democratic Party in November, I will tear up my voter registration card and join a third party. I cannot in good conscience vote for her.

    March 13, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. Chris In California

    Why is my comment always "awaiting moderation" and then removed before finalization? Is that because I am saying things CNN does not like it when Barack Obama receives criticism???

    March 13, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  7. Steve

    Thank God this woman never got to be vice president. I understand the old and bitter thing but give it up. Admit when you're wrong and move to Florida and retire.

    March 13, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  8. Janice in TX

    Man, with friends like this, who needs enemies? She's single-handedly done more to damage the Clinton campaign than Obama could have dreamed of. Gerry, I'm sure I speak for Hillary when I say, "Please... just stop!"

    March 13, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  9. Barbara-California

    I think you protest......too much, Geraldine.

    March 13, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |

    she told the truth

    March 13, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  11. Angelika

    HEre come the Hillary fans, defending her...

    On another ntoe, how would all you people like it if someone said, " is only where s/he is today because they're ."

    March 13, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  12. Joe B.

    Geraldine, are you trying at this late date to build a legacy? If so, you are a failure at it just like George Bush.

    March 13, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  13. zann

    I disagree with Ms Ferraro's comments.However, I also disagree with people who think it is ok to deluge her with hate mail and death threats. We should all be adult enough to agree to disagree over our differences of opinion.

    March 13, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  14. Bill

    How come Clinton is taken to task for Ferraro's comment when Obama is never asked to reject the comments of his 20-year minister, mentor and friend, Jeremiah Wright? I found Ferrao's comments actually pretty factual, but Obama's minister's comment contain anti-white venom.

    March 13, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  15. piecrust

    Obama people are simply dumb!!!! Period. Sickening!!!!

    March 13, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  16. john

    Incredibly stupid remarks from an old pro. Time to fade into retirement
    out of the limelight.

    March 13, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  17. Robert G

    So petty, so thin-skinned, so un-intelligent – the American people were wise in not electing her ticket. Everyone should know by now that what one knows to be true can no longer be spoken in this country. She needs to keep her truth to herself and maybe in ten or twenty years the truth will again be tolerated.

    March 13, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  18. Okay, This Is Getting Old

    We heard you yesterday...yesterday...yesterday...yesterday.....

    I must be in a time warp.

    March 13, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  19. marty from Indiana

    Sad. She just doesn't get it. Yada...yada....yada.

    March 13, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  20. Mr. Bill

    Obama milking the situation for all it is worth? – I don't think so. He simply stated that most American's don't agree that being black is an advantage in this country.

    March 13, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  21. ed west

    Ignorance at it's worst.

    March 13, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  22. SB

    What you said was stupid-that's what hurt Hillary.

    March 13, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  23. ben

    Would Clinton be where she is at today if her last name weren't Clinton?

    March 13, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  24. DD

    Good Grief !! She has not learned to keep her pie hole shut.

    She can have all the opinions she wants , however she really needs to think first before speaking.

    And of course do her research to back up her ridiculous claims.

    March 13, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  25. Ann

    Your comments are an outrage not what Ferraro said. She is entitled to her opinion. And you should notice the pattern: media and Obama are indeed using any comment that has anything to do with the race card to hurt Hillary. Open your eyes. That 90% vote for Obama by black voters .. this is based on race. It is too disproportional. Thats all she said! Not politically correct but true. Twisting her words is what media and Obama campaign did. Of course, he would do anything to hurt Hillary. This was the number 1 Principle of the Uniter's campaign. Divide and Conquer.

    March 13, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
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