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. pete

    "'I could not believe that," she said. "That's my mother's generation.'"

    This insultingly fallacious statement proves that Ferraro's role in this campaign is (still) to pander to other closet racists.

    March 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Independent

    Resolved. People see, hear, and think what they want despite what is said or done by others.

    March 20, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. Nikole

    She is surprised that her MOTHER'S generation made racist comments? How old is she? How old does that make her mother? That had to be 90 years ago! No racism in the past 90 years?
    Also, Obama was saying that she didn't deserve all of that negative attention. Sheesh!

    March 20, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Paul

    I think she is worst than the pastor because the pastor can claim reason for his anger for making these stupid comments….what about her???? My God….the more the woman opens her mouth the more she scares the’ll of me…

    March 20, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Bob, Powell OH

    I remember years and years ago getting a call from "The Friends of Geraldine Ferraro", a group trying to get donations to bail her out of her difficulties. My response, as a Democrat, was, "I didn't know she had any friends." Well, that response still applies today. Just shut up and go away, will you?

    March 20, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. MichaelP

    OMG! CNN is this really news worthy????

    March 20, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. April in Texas

    Good Grief! Please just drop all this racial issues and get to the real ones like the ECONOMY and THE WAR....

    Obama 08

    March 20, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  8. Mary

    Obama what do you mean FORMER PASTOR, Wright is still your pastor, he is still a supporting clergy of your church and an active member. Please give us a break, just because he retired does not mean he is not your pastor. He is and that's the fact. Get over yourself Senator.

    March 20, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. Kenneth

    Obama/Ferraro 2008!! Two racists, no waiting!

    March 20, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  10. No Obama

    I think she is totally right!

    March 20, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. Matt

    She's brutal.

    March 20, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. Janey

    Go Gerry, tell it like it is. Transparency and truth is what the election should be about. Hillary and Gerry are transparent and truthful people.

    Barack, join the party and tell the truth!

    March 20, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. JL

    wow why are most of Obama supporters jerks?

    Ferraro is right!! He wouldn't be there if he were white.

    March 20, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. Enrique

    Ferraro just should've kept her mouth shut. It's clear that Hillary and her campaign are desperate. They are doing all they can to ensure that John McCain wins in November. Hillary would rather punish the nation and have us endure another 4 years of Republican rule than allow Barack the opportunity to fix the mess that Bush has created.

    March 20, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. Weiss

    You Ferraro, are no Nixon. At least he had a chance of winning by using coded words.

    March 20, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. NOBama

    For those of you saying she's worse than Wright, you are DELUSIONAL!!!

    There is nothing she has said that's remotely close to what Wright said. She was stating facts – like them or not – and Wright was spreading hatred towards whites and America.

    Obamabites – get a clue.

    March 20, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  17. Illinois voter

    Obama admitted that he is a liar. That's all that his "race" speech accomplished this week.

    Hillary or McCain '08

    March 20, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  18. Chris H

    Here we go again. Another long list of juvenile and predictably spiteful comments from Senator Obama's supporters. It is truly pathetic that they have to immediately attack any and every article that doesn't fit with their mindset. . Well, I gues that's easier than analysing, reasoning and being informed.

    March 20, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. CitizenJ

    Ferraro has no credibilty to speak on this issue.

    She is as much of a bigot as Wright.

    March 20, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. Steve

    Good for Ferraro. Obama needs to realize the damage he has caused and step down NOW.

    March 20, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. John

    Don't cry Obamabots. He will will learn with more time how to use better judgement.

    March 20, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. ABB

    Go away Ferraro! You are not helping HRC. Unless HRC asks you to speak on her behalf, SHUT-UP!

    March 20, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. mary, Dallas, Tx

    Your mother's generation was the worst. If you were perfectly honest, you too have said thing that you wouldn't want people of other races to hear, but you would have to be honest and I am not quite sure any of you Clinton supporters are honest.

    March 20, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  24. Julie K

    You are coming off as a very bittter person Geraldine. It is time you turn off the rhetoric and realize you are doing absolutely nothing positive for the party you supposedly love. GIVE IT A REST!

    March 20, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. hugh

    why is my comment not shown?

    March 20, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
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