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. Chuck in Oregon

    Get a grip Geraldine, Obama was not slamming you, nor was he drawing any kind of comparison between you and Mr Wright. If you read his statement with an open mind, you will note that he was infact stating that you did not harbor any deep seated racial feelings. No matter what, you said what you said, and millions perceived you were being racial in your statements. In corporate America, you would have been fired and potentially sued for your comments as I have seen many fired and sued for saying a lot less.

    March 20, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Judy

    Obama is pathetic and a racist.

    March 20, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Grif

    No Lady your not!!! Your one of the Old School, and the most Needed I might add.... In a Country of Obama's promise of change ,

    for two Dimes.

    March 20, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Kate

    This woman needs to shut up already.

    Talk about spewing hatred.....

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

    It was a new low for Obama to compare Ferraro to Jeremiah Wright. I don't blame her for being pissed off about it. And Obama's comments about his grandmother were just freaking weird.

    March 20, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Fernandez

    The Obama camp is full of idiots, they contradict everyting Obama says. It is time to say goodbye to Wright and Obama.

    March 20, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. E. C., Houston, Texas

    What Ferraro stated about Obama was FACT and certainly not Racist. The Obama Camp needs to re-examine its standards and honesty, especially in light of the Jeremiah Wright Sermons that Obama sat and listened to for 20 years. PLEASE! Do we now see a 'double standards' emerging in this campaign?

    March 20, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. Sylvester

    This chick is incredible. How in the hell does she know what happened with Obama's grandmother and for the record....isnt her mothers generation the generation of the worst race riots in this country's history? The age of separate but equal?

    The arrogance of this woman is absolutely incredible!

    March 20, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    The Ranting Reverend Wright won't go away in the Nation's collective consciousness, and nothing Obama or his supporters say will change that. The opportunity to personally denounce the man as well as his words is lost forever for Obama, who must have known this guy was the weak link in his chain of hope and "New Politics".

    March 20, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Sara

    This Pastor thing is going past riciculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 20, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Joseph Saladino Jr.

    Have I missed something, or has cnn endorsed obama...I watch cnn for many hours daily and the majority of time all I hear or see is obama. Am I missing something?

    Joe S.
    Land O lakes, Fl

    March 20, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. give me a break

    Obama lied. Enough is enough!

    March 20, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. Christi

    Unbelievable! This woman does not know when to SHUT UP!!


    March 20, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. anne

    I just read some of the comments1 Wow..there are certainly a lot of discrimanatory remarks toward older white women. Why is theresuch hatred for women who have worked all their lives to make the world a better place- especially for some really stupid ingrates?

    March 20, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. deb in az

    one other thing did anyone take a look at obamas endorsement on his page yesterday? he got an endorsement from the new black panthers..........

    March 20, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Jen DFW

    for all those that blaimed the clinton camp for the rev. wrights videos you should read yall
    • McCain staffer suspended for circulating Obama pastor video

    so stop blaiming clinton for everything. Ferraro just needs to sit back and be quite at this point.

    But Clinton does have more experience. As a first lady she was a lawyer. Not alot of first ladies had her education back ground. So when her husband was playing she was busy being Com. in chief. So she does have the experience....

    March 20, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. Jason

    Ferraro obviously doesn't have a clue. For one thing, she has been a national figure for decades. Wright wouldn't get any attention at all, except that he happened to have a famous person in his congregation. When you're on the national stage, and speaking on behalf of a presidential campaign, you should expect that what you say is going to have more consequence.

    March 20, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. Issues Please.....

    Not again......please go away. I want real issues CNN.

    March 20, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  19. James

    Ferraro has never heard anyone of the her mother's generation make a racist remark? What planet has she been living on?!

    Even white Americans who were not for segregation expressed biased or prejudiced remarks from time to time. But not her mother! Oh no!

    March 20, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  20. chamuiel

    You do understand that Clinton, Obama, and Ferraro are all democrats?

    This is so much fun. Liberal Democrats don't need need to be beaten by anyone else. With all the infighting that you do, you will only defeat yourself.

    The really funny part about all this is Geraldine is about as far left as you can get. should love her, and yet people are on here telling her to get lost. The Democrats and their infighting is a bigger sideshow than Brittany and her travails. Still it is all funny and I thank you for the huge belly laughs you provide me with each day.

    March 20, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. Leroy

    So she says there was no racism in her mothers age. I guess all those fire hoses turned on the black people was a figment of our imagination, Huh?

    March 20, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. More Division

    Oh boy! We Democrats are in trouble. This is only going to help to continue the divide between the Hillary and Obama camps. Again, Hillary and Obama need to tell all of thier so-called friends to shut up!

    March 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. Tom, Cville, VA

    She is way out of line. He went overboard with some of his otherwise justified anger at the longstanding mistreatment of black people in this country, but overall he seems to have led a good life of usefulness to others. She, on the other hand, seems to be from another planet, and full of anger that I don't even understand. Sad to see her continue to melt down this way.

    March 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  24. Juan from L.A.

    This lady needs to STOP!!! Just dig yourself a hole and dissapear!!! Senile at its best!!!

    March 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. Paul

    Obama and the Obamaniacs are trying to attack out of desperation.

    But let me tell you that peple are smart and will not tolerate a bigot like Wright and his 20 year follower Obama.

    Hillary America is with you, because we truly care about our nation and do not allow ourselves to be brainwashed by JUST WORDS...

    Hillary for President!

    March 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
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