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. Joe G

    I laugh every time I read a comment by an Obama supporter. Any critique of their man is greeted with hate and rage and I'm sure they all cry themselves asleep from the fetal position.

    Obama brings his grandmother into the discussion. What a guy!!!

    March 20, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. Know Hillary - No Hillary

    Once again, Ms. Congeniality speaks! Is there anything Ferarro isn't angry about? She seems to be angry most about not being in the press anymore. The fact that she was instrumental in raising the whole race issue makes it all that much more humorous that she is so upset. And I dare say she's not really upset that Obama mentioned her – if he hadn't, she'd have vanished back into obscurity, where she might do less harm.

    March 20, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. Ken

    Can someone please stop The Daily Breeze from interviewing this woman? All they are doing is giving a platform to a perfectly out of date public figure whose inane remarks are simply contemptible.

    March 20, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  4. gurarro

    CNN, I have just about had it with you. I found a website the provides honestly, open, non-baised, not-hate-filled commentary where people with college degrees can openly and fairly discuss issues of the day. This website (CNN) is full of itself and is perpertrating those who are ignorant, uneducated or just plain stupid. Goodbye and good riddance. I will not visit this site again.

    March 20, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. mks

    Ferraro is far worse than Rev Wright. She's a racist, bigot, who's done nothing for the betterment of anyone, except herself. She can't even recognize how out of touch she is. She should do us all a favor and either apologize for her stupidity, or shut up.

    March 20, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  6. Jim in Texas

    I think Obama and his team had it out for her on day one. She did not make a racist remark......they turned it into a racist remark. I agree with her, a pastor teaching hate..... I guess he thought that would unite his flock. Obama is a product of pastor Wright no matter how Obama spins it now.....too late.

    March 20, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  7. toni

    What Ferraro said has some basis in reality while Wright's speech advocated hatred for America. Where is the similarity?

    March 20, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  8. Pr

    She is back...A-G-A-I-N

    This is how Clinton is planning to win...LOL

    March 20, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. John, Jacksonville Fl

    As Hillary and Obama bloody each other up, I am amazed as events unfold. The Democratic Party is so devisive. This is why it is on a downward spiral. All of these events will feed into a McCain win in November. I'm glad to be Republican!

    March 20, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. Jim

    I guess it makes sense that the Obama supporter's rhetoric is very similar to the Rev. Wright.

    March 20, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. Zip-it

    Get lost.

    March 20, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  12. K.R.

    Good for Ferraro!

    March 20, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. hugh

    wHy are my posts not posted? can't stand facts?

    March 20, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  14. Louis, PA

    Wow, we just tested this forum, 4 of us on different computers(school library) posted comments basically agreeing with Ferraros comments and none of the were posted. Then we posted anti-hillary commenst and sure enough they were posted. We know that this will not be posted but seriously at least TRY and be fair.

    March 20, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. Michael

    Come on Ferraro you are completely misreading what he said, the point was that we need to stop jumping all over these gaffes and reading more into them than is there. My God you should be thankful that he came in and tried to restore your good name!!

    First Rule of Holes: when you in one, quit digging!

    March 20, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. Lanice P'Cole

    Give it a break , you already had your hay-day in politics.

    March 20, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. Jones in Sacramento

    Perhaps Geraldine is hoping for a Clinton/Ferraro ticket in the fall

    March 20, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  18. West, Anaheim, Ca

    It is a shame that our country has come to what it has. All the racial things about Obama, Clintons husband and the bad moral standards that he represented in the white house, and McCain. he shows no enthusiasm what so ever. I take this to be because he was a POW, but what is our country coming to. We really have no one to choose from in this election. Alot of people really look up to Hillary because she stood by her man. She enabled him to be and do morally wrong and act indecent. Our governors, senators, and presidents have no morals, so what makes them think they can run our nation? Bill Clinton is no better than a child predator, he just happened to choose women, and that makes it okey. And our children are suppose to learn from this and have them to look up to, I think not

    March 20, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  19. gary

    Obama .Go find yourself a church and become a preacher. You will make a better preacher. You already had twenty yrs. experience.You are not qualified to be a leader of our country.Are country is in bad enough shape as it is.We dont need you to make it worst. With your smooth talking and firey ways,you could take up where Wright got off.If not iam sure you could open up your own church with Rezko and make your uncle Jeremiah proud. America needs a real leader.Go HRC.

    March 20, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  20. Denise

    What! Hillary started her healthcare efforts fifteen years ago and has not accomplised or made any progress? Talk about slow and ineffective Lord we will all be dead before she figures it out if EVER she does.

    March 20, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  21. TheLeftNut

    Geraldine is a good example of what's wrong with the Democratic Party.

    Her arrogance and insistance that there is only one way to take her comments is a narrow-mindend view point that pervades the Dem. party.

    March 20, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  22. Mia

    Please tell me one official Obama supporter that called Ms. Ferraro racist.

    The campaign official statement and every surrogate said what she said is ridiculous and it is. They said the Clinton team has a pattern of personal attacks and they do!

    Prove it that his campaign or surrogates called anyone a racist.

    March 20, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. Tony in NM

    good grief

    Ferraro is right about ONE thing: she has "no clue"

    I would think it pretty self evident that she is a bitter, nasty person. Why must she continue to convince me that winning is the only thing that matters to the Clinton camp?

    March 20, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  24. Kishor Karki

    Ms Ferraro was right then... and shes right now... No-Bama camp seems busy in Hillarry Hatred response on this post...
    Put same effort to understand "why should you elect such hate-preaching president"..????

    March 20, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  25. Barbara

    I think a bigot is a bigot and hatred is hatred. It does not matter to what degree.

    March 20, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
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