March 21st, 2008
06:20 AM ET
11 years ago

Ferraro: I am no Jeremiah Wright

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Ferraro isn't happy Obama compared her to Jeremiah Wright."]
(CNN) - Just over a week after she resigned her post on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign after making controversial comments about Barack Obama’s presidential bid, Geraldine Ferraro said she resented being compared the Rev. Jeremiah Wright in the Illinois senator's recent speech on race relations.

"To equate what I said with what this racist bigot has said from the pulpit is unbelievable," Ferraro told the Daily Breeze newspaper an interview published late Wednesday night. "He gave a very good speech on race relations, but he did not address the fact that this man is up there spewing hatred."

"What this man is doing is he is spewing that stuff out to young people, and to younger people than Obama, and putting it in their heads that it's OK to say `Goddamn America' and it's OK to beat up on white people," Ferraro also said of Wright. "You don't preach that from the pulpit."

Ferraro, a former congresswoman and the Democratic party's 1984 vice presidential nominee, stepped down from her fundraising post with the Clinton campaign last week after suggesting Obama's success in the presidential race can largely be attributed to the fact he is black.

"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept" she said in an earlier interview with the Daily Breeze.

Ferarro ardently defended her comments for days, but ultimately resigned because she said the Obama campaign was publicizing the comments to "hurt Hillary."

In his speech earlier this week addressing the uproar over Wright's sermons, Obama, said racial rhetoric had been injected by supporters of both campaigns. "On one end of the spectrum, we've heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action, that it's based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap," he said. "On the other end, we've heard my former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation - that rightly offend white and black alike.

“…We can dismiss Rev. Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias,” he said. “But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Rev. Wright made in his offending sermons about America - to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality….”

In the interview Wednesday, Ferraro said she had "no clue" why Obama referenced her in the speech. She also expressed surprise the Illinois senator said he had heard his white grandmother utter racist remarks.

"I could not believe that," she said. "That's my mother's generation."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Geraldine Ferraro
soundoff (359 Responses)
  1. Nate in Mpls

    She's BAA-ACCK!!!!!

    March 20, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. matt

    Why won;t she just disappear. No one cares what you have to say. And no you aren't Mr. Wright. Mr. Wright has helped more people in his life then you have yours.

    March 20, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. mother too


    March 20, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. sacto joe

    Ferraro and Clinton are shameless! The wedge they are driving in the Democratic party will last for years, maybe decades to come.

    March 20, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. zina

    I am in no way defending Rev Wright, but he NEVER said that it was okay to "beat up on white people" as Ms. Ferraro insists. Barack mentioned her in his speech to say that she did not deserve the negative treatment she received. Learn how to take a compliment, ma'am!!

    Obama '08

    March 20, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. Diane, Buffalo, Wy.

    Go home, no one is interested in what you have to say any more.

    March 20, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. Wayne, Greenville TX

    No – you're far worse.

    March 20, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. James

    There is nothing comparable about these two individuals and it's absurd to try find a common link.

    March 20, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Stretch

    I find her last statement a little odd. Not believing her mother's generation would have racist feelings. Um, they were the ones that went thru the civil rights era. My mom has said racist remarks before so Im not surprised at all.

    March 20, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. Kev

    When did he ever say it was ok to beat up on white people?

    March 20, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  11. Irishspacemonk

    Please, someone take this woman back to the nursing home. She's lost, wandering around and telling anyone who'll listen she's not racists, just 'cuz she points out blacks have it so easy when running for pres.

    You can't teach an old dog new tricks and she's not worth the attention the media is giving her.

    March 20, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. CR

    It would be best for Ms Ferraro to take a long vacation away from the media.

    March 20, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. Tiachi

    He mentioned you because your comments were RACIST Ferraro... you just said it more politely... same thing.

    He is there because people like him, not because of his RACE... That is a RACIST comment.

    It is almost as saying he is not qualified but people are standing behind him because he is black, as a black person I can tell you that is NOT why I am standing behind him. I don't like Hillary and her politics and Edwards is out, so he is the better candidate in my opinion. Nothing to do with his race.

    You don't gain EXPERIENCE by being 1st lady.

    March 20, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  14. Shirley


    March 20, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. matt

    Another old, out of touch, white woman who can't believe there is white on black racism. Just stick your head in the sand and let the rational people speak.

    Obama's speech must have made an impact otherwise Hillary's staff wouldn't be trying to destroy it.

    March 20, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Audrey

    Ferraro is pathetic.

    March 20, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Matt

    Ohh just shut up and go away already Ferraro. I know this is the most attention anyone has ever given you since 1984, but your fifteen minutes is up. So just shut up and go back into obscurity.

    March 20, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. obama supporter


    March 20, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. Issues Please.....

    Not again........please go away.

    March 20, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. vic nashville,Tn

    Good Job

    March 20, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. tiredofthecrap

    Former VP Candidate Ferraro. GOOD BYE. GO way.

    March 20, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. D-Attle

    Are you kidding me??? This woman planned on running for Vice President at one point but doesn't believe that a white woman from ' her mother's generation' is capable of saying something prejudice against blacks??? WOW. Whatever drugs Ms. Ferraro is on, somebody get me some quick! Goes to show how out of touch with reality the old political war horses are with the actual conditions of America's race relations. That's why it's time for CHANGE.

    OBAMA '08'!!!!!

    March 20, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. Jermaine

    She is worst than Wright, and it proves that Hillary and Ferraro is in the same camp say one thing and do the next. It proves that theirs allot of bigots still out there pandering to blacks to get votes when it suits them and when blacks beat them by being above the fray they use race to insinuate that Oh that person is black don't forget it. Wright was more open, Hillary, Bill and Ferraro are more overst about their racist-bigoted rants! AMERICA DOES NEED A 3RD PARTY AND OBAMA SHOULD BOLT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY NOW AND SET UP A 3RD PARTY. I AM SURE IF HE RUNS WITH GORE OR HAGEL HE WILL WIN!

    HOPE AND REALIZATION THERE IS ANOTHER WAY....I am hoping OBAMA back out and let Hillary have the Democratic nod and then he go and run as a candidate on a new ticket. It will be so easy to get on the ballot in every state!

    March 20, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. Amy

    Dear Geraldine,

    He did not compare you to Rev. Wright. He said that focusing on you and other distractions is not what the American people want from the presidential candidates. We want to hear about solutions to the war and the horrific economy. And it's true. So stop with the accusations. If you want to help Hillary then talk about health care, talk about fixing the ecomony. Talk about anything but yourself and the Obama campaign. Unless you want to make John McCain president. Which you're well on the way to doing.

    Thank you.

    March 20, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Greg

    As has been said, the number one rule of holes is: When you are in one, stop digging! Some one give her The Rules of Holes.

    March 20, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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