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. Go Hillary

    You go girl !!

    March 20, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  2. Jim

    Give the lady a Razzie Award.

    March 20, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. Jannie

    Once again proving that wisdom is not necessarily acquired with age.

    March 20, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. McBride, SLC, UT

    boy, you stupid people are playing right into the republican hands. Can you not see that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    March 20, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. michael, ny

    Ferraro, no you cannot be Jeremiah.

    I would more compare you to Hillary: A bigot, manipulative, racist and divisive person.

    March 20, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. hugh

    This is just a site for the Obama attack dogs. CNN has lost all its fairness and journalistic integrity to bar factual and reasonable posts when all the filthy name calling posts are aired right away.

    March 20, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. Coleman R. Brice, Asbury Park, NJ

    She's in touch about as much as Hillary. She expressed astonishment that there is still prejudice and racism in this country?

    And she had an official post in Clinton's campaign? Was a VP nominee?


    March 20, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  8. Bill--Pa.

    Ferraro is correct.

    March 20, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  9. dave

    I actually feel a little embarrased to know that she was the democrat's VP nominee. How can she be so ignorant?

    March 20, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Ernest

    Yes you are, oldie

    March 20, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. American #1954

    What's this? She's surprised that someone in her "mother's generation" would utter a racially disparaging remark???
    I agree with Ms. Ferarro when she stated that, "...she has no clue."

    March 20, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. Go away

    Really? Ferraro, I hate to break it to you but you are a racist. Plain and simple. And I am not even voting Democrat in this election. GO AWAY.

    March 20, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. Jim

    You so boldly tell another American to 'go away'... I see you are being molded by your mentor, Mr. Obama. He wants MI and FL voters to go away. News flash... Hillary is here to stay and she will WIN as she should.

    March 20, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. gerard morei

    Brian from NYC, I know you and you are a republican that is going to vote for Mccain in november, so be quiet and go back to your dirty place.

    March 20, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. Jay in Arkansas

    I wish these people would stop it...Its over...lets move on....people are dying in an unnecessary war , our economy is flip-flop, no healthcare, high gasoline...there are bigger issues to discuss. Our nation is a crisis. Lets not major on the minors.

    March 20, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  16. jfs Memhis, Tn

    She needs to leave things alone...............enough is enough already.

    She'll change her tune after the nomination............

    March 20, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  17. Keith

    Enough is Enough! This is why Ferraro is no longer part of the Clinton Campaign. She doesn't know when to shut up.

    March 20, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  18. Finished

    Obama will not be president. Period.
    Right on Geraldine!

    Where is Jesse Jackson to comment on Wright?

    March 20, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  19. toni

    What did Ferraro say that resembles Wrigh's speech?

    March 20, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. Rose,Calgary,Canada

    ahah stop digging old woman!

    March 20, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  21. Sean

    Right on? Did you even watch Obama's speech? He actually stood up for Ferraro, so it is very odd that she sits here and continues to attack him. There is racism in this country, and if she thinks otherwise then it is a very good thing she didn't become VP, being as far out of touch as she is.

    March 20, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. Candy

    Geraldine Ferraro.

    Please SHUT UP!!!

    March 20, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. John, Las Vegas, NV

    She was useless as a VP running mate. It appears she's gone downhill from being useless as a VP candidate to becoming damaging as a surrogate. Hmmm, I wonder what the next step is for her?

    March 20, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  24. Earth to Ferraro

    What planet is this lady from anyway???? I don't get it...

    March 20, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  25. Bill--Pa.

    Ferraro sends us the other side of the coin.

    Obama certainly knows what the good Rev. Wright is all about.

    Ferraro is correct.

    March 20, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
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