March 21st, 2008
06:20 AM ET
11 years ago

Ferraro: I am no Jeremiah Wright

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/13/art.ferraro1.ap.jpg 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. Rosanne R.

    She is still mad about 1984. Jesse Jackson should have been the VP nominee. She knows it. And she is still angry. She needs to go to a home!!!

    March 20, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  2. phil

    Just goes to show how far the truth can be streched to fit your aganda. I agree with Mrs. Ferraro.

    March 20, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  3. Dee

    I agree with Zina, Obama was complimenting her. As far as her Mother's generation, I believe Ms Ferraro's mother must live on another planet if she didn't experience racism. How much longer must this go on before we can get back to the ISSUES?

    March 20, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  4. HSD

    oh please! how much credibility does she have if she CANT BELIEVE that grandparents... people who live during LEGALLY MANDATED SEGREGATION... couldn't have racist ideas...?

    She is off her rocker...

    March 20, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. Stephy, Groton Connecticut

    Wow! she really enjoys the attention but I guess who doesn't...
    Move one please...

    March 20, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  6. Bismarck ND

    Ferraro said nothing insulting, Bill Clinton said nothing racist, Obamanites see the race card as the gateway to the presidency over apologies for slavery.

    March 20, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. Angelina Julie

    Obama supporters are gettin mighty desperate! ALL this anger???? All this lashing out at a pretty innocent Geraldine Ferraro? I suppose you're going to blame her for Obama's downfall, because that's what you all do best - blame others instead of facing the fact that Barack's only downfall is Barack. Bye bye Obama!

    March 20, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  8. Ron R

    Please Madam....Let it rest.

    March 20, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. hugh

    Why did my first post needs any moderation? The facts posted there can't be disputed.. This site has become just a bashing site for the Obama gang.

    March 20, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. Fay (the Texan who voted for Obama)

    She must be senile to think that all of us "young generation" people are that gullible to listen to the first person that comes talking. And I don't think I heard Mr. Wright ever give anyone permission to "beat up on white people." This lady is delusional!

    March 20, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  11. Melissa R, Louisiana

    Senator Obama never said it was ok to beat up on anyone. I think Ms. Ferrarro should have read or listened to his speech before she commented.

    Senator Obama said he didn't believe the race card had been played by the Clinton campaign but by some of her supporters. I don't know how anyone can find fault with the speech he gave. It was long overdue.

    I wonder if she will stand by her word and vote for whoever the nominee is as she claimed before being forced off the campaign?

    March 20, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  12. M. Winners, Mesa, AZ

    Sorry to say Geraldine but like my mother who is of your generation you are most often as not clueless on the race issue (never had to deal with it). So please, confine your uninformed comments to that little voice in your head and not the public forum thank you...

    March 20, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  13. Collins

    This woman is just looking for media attention, how come you don't believe a woman from your generation is capable of racial remarks, while you are still currently doing so, the denial of the existence of racism is racism itself, not that i agree with pastor Wright's outburst hell no! he took America and Obama candidacy many miles behind yes, but as for you Mrs VP elect maybe you should visit a rehab coz obviously you are on something.

    March 20, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. Debbie

    They couldn't find anything relevant to wrong with obama so they had to dig up video from his pastor. I wonder if Clinton or McCain's pastors' have been so scrutinized. I am so proud of Obama for having the guts to speak out against the obvious smear campaign. It is true that that Clinton's camp opened this door for the race card to be played. Obama was trying to keep his campaign focused on relevant issues to America. Clinton's camp has resorted to desperate tactics to confuse voters and redirect attention on this trivial bs! I hope Obama brings up the multitudes in CLinton's and McCain's closets...starting with their spouses (Bill and Cindy).

    March 20, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  15. dave

    Look at what one can become after a generation of divisive and racism-feuled politics. That's more than enough to remind me not to go back to those years. No, she is not a racist. But, she is just as ignorant. That's her problem.

    March 20, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. Mary

    I think every negative remark on the internet is coming from members of obama's church, there is no way american's be so ignorant. By the way Old comes in every color, and if you guys that are making the age remarks. Hope that God blesses you too live a healthy, properous long life. I bet you guys have old parents are grandparents. This is the only country in the world that does not have respect for the aged. I get so upset when I hear or read remarks like that. I love older people no matter what color they are, and most of them have more wisdom in the tip of their fingernails than most people. So there..chew on that!

    March 20, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. Jeff, Minneapolis

    Oh My God!!! With all due respect, Barack never compared Geraldine Ferraro's comments to those he rejected from Reverand Wright. If you haven't already, EVERYONE, young and old, black and white, should watch Obama's speech. Ferraro is trying to spin this to the lowest common denominators in our society. Whether you support Obama or not, his speech was one of the most straight-foward speech on race I've ever seen (and it was not pandering to either blacks, whites, or hispanics).

    March 20, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. Cheryl

    I can see why Ferraro would be upset. What she said was in no way close to what Reverend Wright said and I think her point was taken out of context. That's the problem with race in this election. There can't be any open, honest discussion with the any reference to race or color or one is accused of being "racist," "divisive." If we can't discuss these issues without one becoming defensive or combative, we'll never move forward. Ferraro's comment was no more racist than it was sexist, using herself as an example.

    March 20, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. hugh

    How long is this moderation to be?

    March 20, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. Lisa

    Ferarro is DELUSIONAL.
    What is she talking about her "mother's generation" not being racist. I mean, the further back you go, the worse it gets!

    March 20, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. Mike

    Ferraro its time to turn the page with American people. Go away with your comments, you are not better than Jeremiah Wright. Obama is trying to tell people like you that we cannot continue to live in early 60's

    March 20, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. Ito, Yokosuka Japan

    Well...it doesn't matter what Obama said, Jerry; it's all about what you said. If the shoe fits, wear it.

    March 20, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. Stephannie Minneapolis, MN

    Can someone PLEASE have enough courage to restore dignity and honor to the election by shutting these surrogates up? It's killing the the candidates' campaigns!

    Obama 08

    March 20, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. gary

    Correction Geraldine was talking facts.

    March 20, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. California Voter

    Obama is just another politician.

    March 20, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
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