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. DJJ

    No, Ferraro, what you said was said to hurt Obama. BOOMERANG!!!!

    March 13, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  2. RickytheGriff

    Exactly what planet does Ferraro exist on?

    She has now done so much to damage Clinton's chances to become president (Which was fading before this even happened) and she's acting like a blameless victim in all of this.

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

    Do you think that it's Obama's CAMPAIGN that's sending her hate-mail? It's more like Obama's supporters who are letting her know that racist nonsense like she's spouting will not be accepted in America.

    Man, it must be nice in FantasyLand. Maybe I can build a Summer home there!

    March 13, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. pH

    I listened to a post-departure interview this morning.

    Geraldine Ferraro demanding an apology for being called a "racist".

    What the hell is wrong with this picture?

    March 13, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. sara_m

    Sad and pathetic.

    March 13, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. gail

    Talk about "bad politics," what would she call her original comment that started this whole thing? Why doesn't she just shut up now, or is Hillary proding her on now that she can "speak for herself."

    March 13, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  6. marcus

    wow this lady is really determined to make Obama seem like a racist for just disagreeing with her. its hard to believe that this level of racism doesn't get treated harsher by the media. no matter weather he was black, white, asian, indian, or other he is a powerful and uniting figure. maybe she just cant stand him because she has convinced herself that shes not a racist but just a pessimists. either way she needs to sit down shut up and let things be...
    As a black man i know i dont think i know there are two different Americas. the one that i live in and the one that the majority of the fairer complected people of this country live in. i am 25 and this is the only time i have seen that if we hope and wish for better we can make it happen. and Obama has done that, Hilary has changes so many times in this election i cant even recognize her any more. Hope for change


    March 13, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. Spirit of America

    Won't be long now before someone in the Obama campaign also calls Ferraro a "monster" or worse. Why are so many folks afraid of strong, outspoken women?

    March 13, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  8. G.N. Penley

    You belong with the Cliinton clan, Geraldine. Like them, you cannot conceive that you have done anything wrong; you have no self knowledge. You're just like Bill Clinton: every time you open your mouth the Republicans cheer. Keep it up.

    March 13, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  9. ariel

    Did Ferarro write "Groundhog Day" ?

    March 13, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  10. RJK

    I wish Ferraro would just stop talking and I wish the media would stop talking to her. The more this drags on the more divided this party becomes!

    March 13, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. Sad day for the Dems

    CNN, please do us all a favor and stop covering this nonsense.

    March 13, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  12. Oraymw

    I don't know why Ferraro thinks she can make such blatantly racist remarks without being called on it. That would be like saying that Hillary has only been successful because she is a woman. It is absolutely absurg. Ferraro, get out of the public light before you put your foot in your mouth again.

    March 13, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. Fallon


    She really doesn't get it, does she? How sad. The Clintons are poisoning everyone they touch.

    March 13, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. John Allen

    When Obama campaign advisor called Hillary 'Monster' it hardly made any news in the media. But when someone comments from Hillary campaign then Media blows it out...!!! Is this Obama media Bias or what...!!!

    Ferraro what she said is her opinion, & I don't see anything wrong with that.

    March 13, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. Susan

    You have go to be kidding me.

    She's the one who said it in the first place. What did she expect? Then again, she worked for Hillary and those two always thought alike.

    Hillary should just give up the run for the White House now.

    Too much damage has been done.

    I don't think too many people trust her now.

    March 13, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  16. maddie

    OH, stop this!! This campaign is getting into mess!! What this woman is talking has 20% truth and 80% exaggeration. clinton apologized and this woman resigned. So, can we move on??!! Stop talking about who is playing the race card. I think the media is!!

    March 13, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  17. George, Dallas, Texas

    Ferraro is keeping the issue alive to benefit Hilary Clinton. This is part of their "kitchen and sink strategy". Ferraro did not run for the primaries and caucuses; she was selected as VP candidate and she should not equate her sitution with Obama's. Ferraro is now losing credibility from her continued offensive comments on this issue.

    March 13, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. Katherine

    Tha Obama camp did what?

    March 13, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. Matt

    Regardless of how true or false your comments may have been, Ms. Ferraro, you can't possibly be so naive as to think there would be no fallout as a result. These were unnecessary and foolish things to say, and they backfired terribly. Take your medicine, and soon enough another ridiculous statement will remove the unwanted limelight.

    March 13, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  20. Sean McM

    You are truthful!

    March 13, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  21. Mary

    She is was not just the Obama campaign that recognized the "absurdity" of her comments, but most people at my work and my family, not to mention pundits on both sides of the aisle on T.V. She can point her finger at someone else to blame...but she should go home and look in mirror and ask herself if she is really as progressive as she says she is. I think the saddest part for me today, was to hear that after all of this...Clinton still has a national lead in the polls???? Are people just not listening or do they just not care?

    March 13, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  22. Jen, Riverside, CA

    I think the attacks on Geraldine Ferraro are extremely unfair. The Obama campaign has also injected race but the media coverage insists on demeaning people who in this case are women that voice their opinion. Ferraro is considered an icon in the Democratic Party and I worry that Obama's unfair tactics of spinning Ferraro's comments will come back to haunt him. I just don't see how any kind of woman can support this man to win the Presidency. Thank you

    March 13, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  23. Mike from Austin, TX

    I think what's upsetting Ferraro is that she shot Hillary's campaign in the foot with her ill-advised comments, and she'd rather blame the uproar over her comments on the Obama campaign than her own stupidity.

    March 13, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  24. Casey, Atlanta

    Read the "Real Clear Politics" link about Obama's spiritual advisor who rants God should you-know-what America! Why is there not a screaming about this national blasphemy? Perhaps the Cult of Obama doesn't care. CNN wants him to win, so they wont print it, and hopes it goes away- it won't.

    March 13, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  25. Thee

    What absurdity! This woman has the nerve to bring race into the spotlight, and then blame the Obama campaign for making it a big deal??? She is only digging a bigger hole for Poor Hillary Clinton!

    PS: I don't agree with sending hate mails, and such, but she can't possibly be blaming Obama for random people sending her mails about what they thought! It wouldn't hurt to take responsibility for your actions once in a while!

    March 13, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
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