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. BG - Texas

    Unfortunately – "Telling it like it is" is not the thing to do when discussing Obama. Upsets too many people who can't "handle the truth!"

    March 20, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  2. Glen

    good for you Geralldine, hats off to you for telling it like it is. I have never seen so many thin skinned people be so nasty and being blinded by smooth talk. What messed up generation that believes only what they want to hear!

    March 20, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  3. Roni

    Yeah for Ms Ferraro speaking up, not being afraid to go against Barack!

    Mr Obama plays the race card more than the Clintons and he can because he is black and white. I agree with Ms Ferraro's comments, but I don't agree that Rev Wright's comments–and i further think that Barack showed very poor judgement in his close relationship with this pastor.

    Clinton should leave or concede because of a 1% difference in delegates? No way-she doesn't know the word "quit" and that is why she will be the democratic nominee.

    American's are intelligent & this "poor judgement issue" may cost him this election...

    March 20, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  4. D.L.

    Geraldine Ferraro has every right to stand up for herself.
    Obama should not have put her or his grandmother in the
    speech at all.
    It was just another way to insult people for his benifit

    March 20, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  5. LibertyQueen in Colorado

    You tell 'em Geraldine! Wright is a racist bigot preaching hate from the pulpit. GO HILLARY!!!!

    March 20, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  6. Allan

    Some people apparently cannot read. I am sick of this campaign. At one point, it actually seemed that we might have a decent battle between two good candidates. Remember the enthusiasm?? No more. And sorry to say, Hillary Clinton started it all, with help from hubby, because she can't stand the thought that she might lose. Well, she might get the nomination in the end, but what about November? Talk about a phyrric victory.

    March 20, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  7. Cory

    She is absolutely ridiculous. You'd have to be patently stupid to be unable to realize the point Obama was making.

    Judging from the obvious spin of her comments, it's rather obvious that she never really left the Clinton campaign after all.

    March 20, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. Paul

    All Ferraro has done is ensured that I will never vote for a Democrat if Obama doesn't win. Of course, since Hillary is a Republican now, I guess that choice will be made for all of us if she gets her way.

    March 20, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. Ron

    Rev. Wright, Sharpton, Jackson – all of them are stuck in the 1960's. They are the ones that like using the race card all of the time, stirring up the crowds, just like the 60's, fun times. It is financially to their benefit to do so, otherwise what else do they have to offer anyone. Open your eyes.

    March 20, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  10. Sad day for the Dems

    CNN is a disgraceful network. Fox news is becoming more credible than you guys. What's next? Hire Sean Hannity?

    March 20, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. Tom, Oregon

    Fantasy land, the pastor only said what was true and so did Ferraro. Hate speak ain't just what ya don't want to hear.

    March 20, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  12. chel

    Wow. What a clueless bonehead.

    March 20, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  13. Ohio

    Why are all the posts Obama supporters. Rev Wright is 100% worse than Ferraro. This kind of talk does not belong in Church and everything is not white people's fault.

    March 20, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  14. Jerry

    Can't wait till the other tapes show up and Obama twitches.

    March 20, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  15. RR

    You tell'em Gerry! I'm so glad this has come out now!

    March 20, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  16. Joe

    Ferraro obviously missed the point of the speech. She only cares about herself.

    March 20, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. Vic

    Geraldine Ferraro is an honest, upright citizen of the United States who has served her country as a congress woman and candidate for Vice-President of the United States. So this is directed to Obama and his supporters: To compare her and her statements to that of the hate mongering preacher is ludicrous.

    March 20, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. John

    We need to ask ourselves if Senator's Clinton pastor used such language and if Senator Clinton appointed him to her campaign would the media and the American people be so understanding! I very much doubt it.

    March 20, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  19. Elizabeth Merriwether

    It's amazing that some people aren't aware when enough is enough. Geraldine just admit that you were wrong & move forward. I guess that's too much like right!!! Repeat after me.... YES WE CAN!!!

    March 20, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. mike brian

    The Obama campaign and the media is disgusting to compare her with Wright.

    Mr Wright's words and body language are DISGUSTING!

    March 20, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  21. LJ

    Geraldine Ferraro, go away you wrinkled up old income tax crook!

    March 20, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. Meg

    Who cares what Ferraro has to say. This is the same idiot who couldn't even win her own district when she ran on the ticket with Mondale in '84. In fact they lost 49 out of 50 states. She is just as useless now as she was then.

    March 20, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  23. Don

    Wright is wrong and Ferraro's comments are no where near as bad as that hate spewing so-called preacher. Obama has less experience than my 3 year old at anything that is important and needed for running our country.

    McCain in 08

    March 20, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. Jay

    Your Right..OBAMA is WRONG

    March 20, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. Obama Supporter

    Oh We all know are a Clinton supporter and you talk sensless sometimes...just like Hillary

    March 20, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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