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. Peter Kavanagh

    That's it Gerri keep talking . Obama did not overtake Hillary in the primary because he is black but because he has run a brilliant campaign .

    I think that there is a generational shift about to happen within the Democratic party . The only question for each individual Democrat is which side of history they want to be on .

    Obama 08 !!!
    YES WE CAN !!!

    March 13, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. TerryD

    Geraldine Ferraro try not to concern yourself to much with the hate mail that racist from Obama's supporters are sending you over and over.
    Obama's supporters have a knee jerk reaction to anything anyone says about the black support Obama is enjoying.

    When people come from a state of self-hatred ,it is easier for them to project their hatred and racism unto others, especially when what they hear is the truth.

    The truth is suppose to set us free but sometimes it shocks us into denial.

    March 13, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  3. Sly

    this is a pitiful, pitiful old woman...

    OBAMA 08!

    March 13, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  4. Amy in Iowa

    When will Ferraro stop putting her foot in her mouth? This is ridiculous.

    March 13, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. bemused

    So the Obama camp is responsible for the hate mail she's receiving? No doubt they're busy licking stamps in Chicago right now... oy.

    March 13, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  6. Patrick of Albany NY

    Mr. Alexander Mooney, for the love of all that is good in this world, please PROOF READ articles before posting them. They pay you to write?

    March 13, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  7. Carla J

    Your 15 minutes of fame are over Geraldine...exit stage left, please.

    No offense, but no one cares about your wordplay anymore. In fact, I'm getting sick of hearing the name of someone who really has no importance in this race other than to distract voters from the real issues. Enough is enough - back to the things that matter. I'd hope that both Obama and Clinton supporters would agree.

    March 13, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. J in CO

    If the only thing you can say about your opponent is something related to the color of his skin, you've got a problem. Attack the issues, not the person.

    March 13, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  9. Johnson

    Blame the other person always seems to work. She is the one who said it. Maybe if she had kept her mouth shut then there shouldn't have been any problem.

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

    Tim, I couldn't agree more.

    March 13, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  11. RC

    Let me see....the obama campaign is being divisive by calling her out on her divisive comments....what!? What an idiot. What she said was ten times worse than anything that came out of samantha powers mouth, yet it is the Obama campaign that is being negative and out for blood. I hope she realizes that she has hurt Hilary more than Obama has at this point.

    March 13, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  12. Sandra in Texas

    It seems that Ms. Ferraro would quit talking if she wanted the entire controversy to settle down. Seh keeps insisting she was right and then calls foul when people disagree.

    March 13, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  13. Vic

    If the treatment Mrs. Ferraro is getting from the Obama campaign is an indication of things to come, what is it going to be like if he is elected president and the media criticizes him. What has happened to the freedom of speech?

    March 13, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. Arkansas Undertaker

    I also dont think that Ms. Ferrarro is a racist and I dont think the Obama Camnpaign tried to hurt her or Hillary Clinton.

    Ms. Ferrarro just used a poor choice or words and thats all.

    March 13, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  15. Mike Orlando, FL

    It's so true! Poor Ferraro, she didn't do anything wrong. Obama camp is being silly!

    March 13, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  16. Dennis

    While I don't condone the hate mail, she did bring this upon herself. That is a FACT. The reason she believes Obama is where he is in his campaign is her OPINION. There is a difference. She should have known better than to stir this beehive up. She has nobody to blame but herself.

    March 13, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  17. Mr. T

    Gerry, the problem with you is that you said the same thing about jesse Jackson in 1988 and on Feb 26 you used the same arguement agaist Obama on John Gibbson radio show, then finally on March 7th you repeated the same thing on california newspaper. We see the pattern.

    March 13, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. M&M (Nevada)

    I am worried about the unions making threats to disrupt Senator John McCain and why no one is talking about that. He needs to get some Secret Service Protection. I am a democrat and I don't want any AFL-CIO making threats to the senator. This is a war HERO and he does not deserve this kind of theatment!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 13, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  19. Nathan

    Ferraro needs to keep talking... it's like a shovel heaping dirt on Clinton's campaign. Horribly stupid of her.

    March 13, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  20. Heather Peterson

    So, is she implying that the Obama campaign tried to hurt Hillary with Hillary's own surrogate's words? That is logically impossible. Now, if he doesn't respond, he looks weak. (Case in point: Senator Kerry's failed presidential bid.)

    March 13, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  21. Check Your Facts

    She should go away quickly...whine, whine, whine

    March 13, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  22. I Cry Uncle

    Please go away Geraldine. Leave us alone. You're like your candidate. Nobody likes you and yet you can't stand it so you have to keep trying to get attention.

    Please go raise money for Senator Clinton from the only group left on the planet that is still being hoodwinked by your divisive and deceptive tactics–people like you.

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

    Someone needs to put a muzzle on this old fossil!

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

    Wow, is she ever going to stop. She is hurting Hilary with her bigotted comments and refusal to take responsibility. Now she's playing the blame game and the media continue to give her a platform to spew this nonesense.

    What about covering the real issues in this election and ignore this divisive tactic.

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

    I believe she is correct. Why is it that everytime something is said against Obama, it is taken out of content? What about when his campaign committee makes ugly remarks against Hillary and McCain nothing is ever said. Is this not America, freedom of speech, or does it only apply to some. Wake up America, let's try to vote for the best canidate not because of his race, gender or anything else.

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