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. Scott

    Obama should reject all of his supporters that spew this violent dialog. There is no room for reconciliation at this point when the left is sounding just like the right ,while "eating their young!" You are the same people threatening super delegates and sending threatening emails to anyone you disagree with over an election. LOOK AT YOURSELVES!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 20, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. Interesting

    GO Gerri. You are helping Obama every time you speak. Keep it up!

    March 20, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Spirit of America

    She has every right to be angry. There is no comparison, in truth. But politicians who try to defend the indefensible and try to please everyone do not care about the truth. That he also tries to suppress the Michigan and Florida votes is another crystal clear action that makes him eminently unfit to hold the highest political office in the land. Get used to Madame President.

    March 20, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. AB

    She must have Narcisistic Personality Disorder or something, otherwise why she has to take everything as personal attack against her?

    March 20, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. Chris in Portland


    Don't let the hate-filled Obama kiddies push you around. Even they know you're in the right, but they're just too stubborn and ignorant to admit it.


    March 20, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. joe

    What is the most disgusting thing in the entire messed up election is that 3 million voters are disenfranchised. The fact that Obama wants this to happen so he doesn't lose speaks to exactly who he is - a big fraud. He is against democracy and I wouldn't vote for him ever.

    March 20, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. Charlotte

    Thank God she lost her attempt to become VP. She is a mean-spirited woman, who most people thankfully realize, is missing something upstairs! She is rather scary!

    March 20, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. hal

    Boy, I can't believe how the Obama supporters like to slam people! You get after the Clinton supporters slamming people, but you guys are 100 times worse!!

    March 20, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. Tiffany

    Oh my god, why won't you go away. This woman is crazy!!

    March 20, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Max Kil

    Bottom line is, there is no place of racial slurs in a new america.

    March 20, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  11. John Stevens

    Such hate from the Obama 'people' – or it must be misplaced anger.

    PS – I guess that comment makes me a racist.

    March 20, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  12. GL

    x- I'm not sure that she is playing...

    March 20, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. Linlo

    Good grief, Geraldine! It's not about YOU. Please shut up. No one cares what you have to say anymore.

    March 20, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. Jay Graham, Dallas, TX

    Comparing Ferraro to Wright by Obama is shameless act. Obama is compared to Dr. King or JFK just by giving few speeches. He may get nomination, but wait till general election. He hasn't seen mother of attacks yet. Can you trust a person who listens and absorbs this poisonous speeches for the last 20 years as your president?

    March 20, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. disgusted1

    I am disgusted now by both Obama and Clinton. I used to support both, and couldn't decide on which one just yet, but now I'm voting Republican!

    March 20, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. pd4hillary

    Keep fighting back Geraldine!!! The comparison was ridiculous.

    March 20, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. John Taylor

    Reverend Wright is the only "shameless" person in this campaign, and Obama is sitting right next to him. Geraldine is a decent human being who would never spew such vile hatred.

    March 20, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. Dave

    Go lay back down now Geraldine. He was not comparing you to Wright. He simply made reference to the fact that some people had dismissed you for your remarks. Stop trying to draw attention to yourself.

    March 20, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  19. Raul Ramos

    Another closet Republican. Stop being such a "TOOL".

    March 20, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  20. tricia

    why is the media even talking to her????

    March 20, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Jarhead

    Amazing isn't it? Here we have a rejected politician who broached the issue of race, complaining that she is being compared to another individual who equally plays the race card. Politics as usual.

    March 20, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  22. Joy

    Don't pay too much attention on Obama's speech. He just gave the speech to distract American's attention on questionable pastor and trying to make you agree with him about the race issues long exist in America. His speech is for political popurse only, otherwise he would gave a month earlier or a year earlier.

    Obama is not worth mentioning in the news. He is a corrupted Chicago politician.

    March 20, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. Mike

    How is that cringing feeling now Obama?

    March 20, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. Lora B.

    She absolutely right – with everything she has said! I agree....

    Go Hillary!!!!!

    March 20, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. hugh

    It looks like posts based on facts do not have much chances to be aired. All the attacking and name-calling posts are displayed. My friends have warned me about factual posts are not allowed but I refuse to believe them. It looks like I am have a little taste of the same biased and undemocratic monitering.

    March 20, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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