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. Teresa

    She is definetly seeing and hearing things that are just not there. Geraldine is still in denial that she, herself is racist.

    March 20, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  2. fwa

    ferraro or what ever your name is .What point are you trying to prove

    March 20, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  3. Herman

    No she no Jeremiah Wright because she should have know better and even taken a more higher approach. I don' t know why these folks even get media attention or air time.

    Please just go away and solve some real issues in this country.

    March 20, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. Jane


    People should be so courageous as to call a spade when they see one.

    March 20, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  5. Ferraro/Clinton 08

    This is sad....stop it! Put a sock in it.

    March 20, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. Adult 4 Hillary!

    Fine CNN if you don't want to post my comment. Go head and post the ones filled with rage and hate. My goodness.

    March 20, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  7. John

    I'll never ever vote for Democratic party, in fact if Hillary is the nominee I'll definitaly vote for McCain, I supported Hillary until the "super Tuesday" but when she start playing unfair game I switched to Obama.

    March 20, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  8. Walt, Belton,TX

    I actually agree with this uselesss once-wanta-have-been............... Guess that makes me a racist too.

    March 20, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. Splendid Baker

    I think she is WORSE!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    Wow, both Ferraro and Wright are not helping, they need to get lost

    March 20, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. Thelifeileadlivelove

    Whatever!!! Oh now your the victim... Shut up!!

    March 20, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. Joe

    Were ALL of the above comments from the Obama camp?

    Sure looks like a planned effort.

    March 20, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. patrick

    why is anyone even giving this woman a voice? i wish there were a charge or penalty for being stupid

    March 20, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. Yvonne

    Good for you Ferraro!!

    March 20, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Ted in Chicago

    GF is on the money with what she said above

    Good for her – She will not be shamed or verbally

    Re the beat up – next post – but that one may not get through

    GF you have the first amendment right – and all of your political career on your side as you defend yourself (albeit your earlier comments were crudely worded)

    March 20, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. Joy

    Ferraro, forget about Obama. He is not worthing mentioning. He has been sitting 20 years in a church with an anti-America pastor. When Americans question him, he plays political spin and talk about race and make American agree with him. Obama thought Americans are blined fools.

    Use your brain not emotion, Obama supporters!

    March 20, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. Denise

    Go away, you're old news. Stop attempting to spotlight yourself.

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

    I truly wish Ferraro – and many others – would listen more carefully to Obama's speech before leaping to verbal (and keyboard) action. It is really tiresome that so many readers and listeners seem to have the attention span of one sound byte, and fly off the handle to generate scandal and gossip, without reviewing the whole context.

    In this speech, Obama was clearly dismissing the activities of those who condemn Wright and Ferraro for small sound bytes taken out of context. He was not condemning Ferraro at all. He was showing how his own supporters can make this mistake as well as others can.

    I also wish that we could have access to the 30 years of Pastor Wright's preaching to judge for ourselves where these 30 seconds of bad-mouthing fit in a lifetime of preaching. I for one am going to seek out Pastor Wrights books of sermons, just as I did Obama's books after I first heard him speek after Iowa.

    March 20, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. elizabeth

    Truly unbelievable. The hole she's digging keeps getting deeper and deeper.

    March 20, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. anne


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

    Very angry person.

    March 20, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. Chris in SC

    The last sentence of this article is baffling. Is the woman senile?

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

    You are absolutely correct Geraldine. He even through his Grandmother under the car to be elected. He's the one who will do anything. Wake up America!

    March 20, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  24. Larry

    Ferraro is Right. Obama is Wrong!

    March 20, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  25. Tracy

    Geraldine – Yay to you for still telling it like it is, and not how they wanna pretend it is. You GO, girl, and don't stop!

    March 20, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
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