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. deb in az

    what truely started out to be a nice speach went in a different direction and i call it playing the race card.......involving former sen ferraro and his poor grandmother......never explained why he sat in this church for 20 years.... i sure hope his grandmother wasnt watching.......

    March 20, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. Nick

    Ferraro said she had "no clue" why Obama referenced her in the speech.


    He gave a speech on race and discrimination and you had said he was only doing well because of the color of his skin.

    March 20, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. I used to be a Democrat

    Geraldine is 100% correct. Obama should apologize. He will never be President of the U.S. now. Obama is tearing the Democratic party apart, inflaming a war of the sexes, and setting back race relations 30 years.

    March 20, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Cheryl

    I tried to send Geraldine an email to tell her how I feel about these comments of hers, but she has cancelled her email account. That should have been her first clue that she was being stupid.

    March 20, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. backlash

    Shut up and go away. You actually held public office...educated? However, you cannot see that his statement was not a comparison, but a listing of factual events as they related to race? Dag, she is dumb, dumb, dumb. My mother used to say guilt points to itself. Shut up and go away!

    March 20, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. Amy, Ohio

    She is so out of touch...She really needs to just go away.

    March 20, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. brush

    She is right. And Obama's grandma is also different from his mentor. It is just sad that Obama had to drag them into his speech to save his career.

    It is also pathetic for most news outlets to label the speech as a landmark for conversation about race. Such conversation is 6 months too late. No matter how wonderfully he delivered, this speech was plainly a political move to spin why he stayed with his mentor for 20 years without UNITING the pastor with America. Did you get the answer? I didn't.

    March 20, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. Tiff

    She's crazy! Why can she not believe that white women here age could possibly be racist?! I wish we could all (no matter who we support) listen to Obama's speech and understand that there is definitely racial issues in this country, yet we need to get beyond them. And more importantly, she needs to DISAPPEAR!

    March 20, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  9. Ardnuas

    That's NOT what he said.....Listen to the speech again!!!!
    How many people have heard their FRIENDS, FAMILY, PASTORS,CO-WORKERS..... say MANY things they did NOT agree with? How many people have have the GUTS to speak up?

    March 20, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  10. Darryl, Arlington Texas


    I guess she has a problem is hearing too. She still playing the Surrogate Role for Hillary and Bill Clinton.

    March 20, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  11. Robert S., New Orleans, Louisiana

    I don't like any of it, but frankly, everything she has said so far is true.

    March 20, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. Not Another Clinton in the Whitehouse

    Nobody cares about what you have to say Geraldine Ferraro. You said what you said and that is the end of it. Please do the American people a favor, stop opening your mouth to make stupid comments.

    March 20, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. anne

    Right on, Ms Ferro! i am so sick of all the hatred that is allowed to spew forth from some black people and everyone says it is okay because they suffered in the past. IT IS IN THE PAST, let's move on. i am tired of people electing a pres just because they are trendy! Look where that got us!

    March 20, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. Amy in Iowa

    Another divisive Clinton returns. This is becoming a soap opera.

    March 20, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. Ruth

    You comments! I have never, never sent in before and you said mine was a duplicate. Not so.

    March 20, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. kayla

    you mean your generation?

    March 20, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. Ardnuas

    If you change churches everytime you are OFFENDED by what the Pastor says..... YOU will NOT attend ANY church for very long !!!!

    March 20, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. Fred

    BO's are insane!

    Where is their sense of decency?

    Talk about spewing hatred.

    Don't any of these people work for a living.

    They seem to surfing the blogs just to spew.

    March 20, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  19. Amy in Iowa

    The return of another divisive Clinton surrogate. This is becoming a soap opera

    March 20, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  20. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    That this woman is SO defensive about a remark she made and probably wishes she hadn't said out loud simply underlines her huge ego and inability to say, "I'm sorry."

    Sad. . .so sad!

    March 20, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  21. Adam FL

    I completely agree with her statements here. It is hard to compare what she has said to what Rev. Wright has said..

    These are dirty politics.

    March 20, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Chris-Seattle

    Hey "Right On":

    You should brush up on your history!

    While you're at it check out what Rev. Wrights church does for their community of all nationalites. I betcha it runs circles around your church if you have one!

    March 20, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  23. Kelly, WV

    She is absolutely right. Where do you begin comparing the 2. Only the blind-sided Barack supporters on here think it is the same thing.

    Open your eyes.


    March 20, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  24. stan


    March 20, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  25. TJP

    Thank you Obama for disenfranchising voters. You believe in bringing together RED states and BLUE states. I guess Michigan and Florida must be purple to you. Your campaign did not agree with the Michigan proposal and was asked for an alternative proposal and you went SILENT. Just like you did when you sat in church and Reverend Wright preached his hatred.

    March 20, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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