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. raj

    what does Ferraro mean that she does not believe that Barraks grandmother said something racist ??? ... She says it was her mothers generation . Does she mean that the generation was pristine pure and not racist ....what world is she living in ...she should go back and check the history books !!!!

    March 20, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Right ON!

    I agree 100% and Ferrero was just another victim of the Obama slam machine that turns everything said into a racist comment. Perhaps they can only do that because of where they have come from and by whom he has been influenced by but it simply is just not right.

    Next time it happens, and there is that type of misplaced 'anger' as Senator Obama would have us think of it – I hope the person being victimized will nail the Obama Camp for their misplaced and prejudicial racial twist!

    I lost all respect for Senator Obama with his twisted words....I cannot recall Ferraro every looking at our country as the GD USA or the US KKK A, or ever spewing some hatred as Reverend Wright does. It is Obama's way trying to compare apples to oranges. He is a word manipulator and will be a full manipulator if he gets the nomination.

    Wake up America and see Senator Obama for what he is – and not what he says!

    March 20, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Really?

    Wow, Ferraro, you are incredible. Feigning surprise over overt racism? Maybe she's just incredulous that people actually express their bigotry out loud and not hidden behind some silly claim of reverse racism and affirmative action.

    Ferraro, take my advice: BE QUIET.

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

    Go AWAY Geraldine. You're as bad as the Senator you support. Neither of you know when to leave. and what is this Daily Breeze shill?

    March 20, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. x

    Stop playing dumb, Ferraro.

    March 20, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. Brian from NYC

    Just another Clinton Camp idiot – Go Obama!!!

    March 20, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  7. Rich in Seattle

    WHAT! YOU AGAIN! You may not be a Jeremiah Wright, but you are getting closer every day. Go back to your cave.

    March 20, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. Gerry

    Ferraro should get on the phone and tell hillary, she's not going to do this anymore.

    March 20, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. mike

    Can anyone explain what she means at the end, commenting on what Obama said about her grandmom? Does she know that woman? Is she saying that in her mother's generation there was no racial bigotry? I'm baffled.

    March 20, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  10. stuart

    Go Ferraro! Thank you lady, you helped bring Obama the fool down for the liar, sexist, bigot that he is!

    March 20, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  11. Ralph

    She is correct. Her racist comments were not as racist. Don't we all feel better about her comments now?

    March 20, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  12. Sante

    Mrs. Ferraro, with all my respect!
    Everithing sugest that you ware write on!
    Obama is one big manipulator!

    March 20, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  13. Bit, Alabama

    Shame on you Ferraro (Clinton) for trying to magnify this situation after that wonderful speech! SHAME ON YOU!


    March 20, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. Go Gerr!

    Keep it up Gerr your only helping Obama! And what's with the last inreference to Obama's grandmother. Why would she be surprised that someone from her mother's generation said racial remarks. Gerr is what 100.

    March 20, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Marie

    It's kind of a genius strategy, really, the way HRC's campaign panders to the ignorant. They're too ignorant to realize how they're being played! Give the rest of us some credit, though.

    March 20, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. chuck in San Francisco

    Ferraro says she has "no clue." Well, yeah. That's the point.

    March 20, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  17. Brian, I believe the reverend's name is Wright, not "White". You've made this "mistake" a few times today.

    March 20, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. Joseph

    This race thing is not going away for Obama. He will have a tough time if he gets to the general election. If Clinton blows him out in Pennsylvania – wins by more than 15% – he is definitely going to have a tough time.

    March 20, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. Not Again

    Wow, Ferraro just won't go away. She likes being the Grand Wizard and is probably pissed that her name was immortalized in a historical by non other than Obama. She "is" the white grandmother that fears blacks and spews derogatory racists remarks in the presence of her grand children. Cringe...

    March 20, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |


    March 20, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  21. max

    oh brother. geraldine ferraro believes herself to be an angel. as if her remarks were not at the very least controversial.

    someone needs to tell her to get off her pulpit, because her remarks were definitely racist in tone.

    you're no victim here either. not owning up to your comments in the least is just arrogant and condescending.

    March 20, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. VA

    So many obama supporters here full of hate.

    wow, change you believe. Give me a break.

    March 20, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  23. DRS

    NO, keep talking Ferraro. That way, people will know that you and HRC are behind this foolishness.

    March 20, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  24. benji

    Ferraro's comments, while provocative and less than politically correct are accurate.

    Obama's race is a factor in the race and anyone who doesn't acknowledge it is either blind or is not paying attention.

    Wright's comments are not only provacative and less than politically correct but also inciting.

    Inciting anger into an already heated debate.

    I do believe Wright did more to damage Obama's presidential campaign than Ferraro did to damage Hillary's presidential campaign.

    March 20, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  25. Darth Vadik, CA

    I can just see Hillary cringe after she heard what this crazy woman has said.

    Hillary probably wispered to somebody "can we shut her up please"

    March 20, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
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