May 19th, 2008
02:33 PM ET
13 years ago

Ferraro suggests she may not vote for Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Ferraro is a supporter of Clinton's presidential campaign."](CNN) - Geraldine Ferraro, the outspoken former Democratic vice presidential candidate and a supporter of Hillary Clinton's White House bid, told the New York Times she may not vote for Barack Obama should he be the party's nominee.

Ferraro, a former member of Clinton's finance committee who resigned that post earlier this year after making comments many viewed as racially offensive, also said she thinks the Illinois senator has been "terribly sexist" over the course of the presidential campaign.

The comments appear to underscore the potential difficulty Obama may have courting some women voters in the fall - many of whom have said they feel a solidarity with the New York senator over the barriers Clinton faces in her bid to become the first female president.

Ferraro has not shied away from discussing the impact of race and gender throughout the Democratic presidential campaign. In March, the former congresswoman told a California newspaper the chief reason Obama's candidacy was successful was because he was black.

"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position," she told The Daily Breeze. "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."

Ferraro also said Clinton had been the victim of a "sexist media."

Obama later called those comments "ridiculous," and Clinton said she disagreed with them.

Ferraro maintained her comments were not racist, but ultimately resigned from the Clinton campaign after they caused an uproar.

"The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you. I won't let that happen," she wrote in her resignation letter to Clinton, adding, "I am who I am and I will continue to speak up."

soundoff (1,092 Responses)
  1. Kim

    Goodness Gerry, shut up.

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. goodcitizen

    I will never vote for a thief, Obama. He is phony, arrogant, and a pure puppet. If DNC destroys Hillary Clinton, the dark age of the party will be ahead. Millions and millions of Hillary supporters will not be put out, a new revolution can happen. This is not a joke, it is happening.



    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. Angello

    Obama a sexist! Ferraro is one of the dumbest educated females I have seen in a long time. It is absurd to say that being black in America is a benefit, when you are the minority of a society that is only 14% African American. In addition when the constitution was written, blacks in this country were considered to be 3/5 human. What the hell is this crazy lady talking about?? Stop hating on Obama because you had your feminist dreams shattered, because Clinton will not be #1 on the democratic ticket. Hillary supporters are bad losers; I'd hate to play in a poker game with them!

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. Rennie Frank in Stevensville, Montana

    This is the type of thing that has made me so sick of the yapping in this campaign. Democrats eating their young bunk. I don't support Hillary Clinton during this primary season...however, the worst outcome I can see is McCain ending up as the President because other Democrats were such poor losers about Clinton or Obama not being the nominee that they don't vote or vote for McCain. As I said I don't support Hillary, in fact I don't like her...but I like her better than McCain and will vote for her if she becomes the nominee. For supports in high profile positions in either campt to come out with this type of tripe is incredibly counter productive to the outcome of the general election. Shame on you Geraldine...Shame on you.

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. Love in SATX

    All you Dems who say you won't vote for Obama really are just saying you won't vote for a black man, I guess this speaks very loudly for the where we are in race relations. You probably wouldn't let your children have any black friends either. Get over it, any Democrat is better than McCain.

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. Elizabeth - Plano, Texas

    I would like to know why no one in the media is covering Obama's derogatory remarks to females, calling them "sweetie". He has been caught doing this more then once. He said "oh it is a bad habit of mine" Give me a break. Talk about sexist. This is the same guy in the workplace who calls you sweetie and says get my coffee. He is sexist and demeaning to women. Why in the world is no one talking about this!

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. who?

    to all of you who state that they are Clinton supporters, but will vote republican if Obama gets the nomination, you opinions are politically flawed. If you would bother to pay attention to both democratic candidates you would know that Clinton and Obama are very like minded on almost all the issues they state their positions on. thus your decision's to switch parties based on the nomination seems to be attributed to their outward appearance. please choose to move on from political bigotry and evaluate the candidates based on their political views. this is a very serious election and the last thing we need is another delusional president who feels that our armed forces are the best way to create change in our troubled world.

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. That's Reality

    Jeff- if McCain appoints judges to the Supreme Court, women (and men) may end up living a bit more responsibly when they find out the result of their irresponsible behavior is no longer so easily dismissed. SAVE THE BABIES! I'm not really sure where mcCain stands on the issue, anyway, unfortunately, I do know where Obama and Hilary stand and it's not for equal rights for babies.

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. Steven Feinstein

    Any Clinton supporter who refuses to vote for Obama is either STUPID or RACIST. There is ABSOLUTELY no justification for that. Barack is a brilliant, articulate, consensus-building leader with great judgement on the issues, who inspires millions. His position on most issues is asymptotically close to Hillary's. McCain is a right wing warmonger. If you're a Clinton supporter and you vote for McCain you are stupid or racist. You need to deal with the fact that Hillary failed in her campaign and that Barack outperformed her. It's not the sexist media. It's not the sexist voters. It's just that she was a BAD CANDIDATE. Deal with it and vote for someone who will give us better health care, better schools, protect the earth, etc etc. Not McBush.

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. GARY


    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. K in CT

    Geraldine IS RIGHT on ALL COUNTS ! Pay attention VOTERS! It's time American voters took a close look at the make up of our political parties and who we have electerd to ALL political positions ( ie; the HOUSE, the SENATE, CONGRESS, the GOVENORS'). Look at the past 200 years ! If your own personal household were in the same "mess" our economy is in – wouldn't you and your spouse change the running of the budget ? Darn tootin you would. I for one would take control of the budget and straighten it out. In fact my spouse & I regularly change controls. It's the HEALTHY way to a sucessful operation/partnership. We need more women in control.

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. Alan in Fla.

    just more of that operation chaos.
    keep believing that and watch Obama lose big this fall.

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. You Must be Out of Your Mind

    Thanks Geraldine Ferraro...This goes a long way to show how much you love the Dem party....NOT!!!!!

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. chiquita

    Let's see....the differences in the proposed policies and idealogies between Clinton and Obama PALES in comparison to those between Clinton and McCain. Yet, we have clowns who are threatening to vote for McCain or not vote at all should their candidate fail to win the Democratic nomination!? Particularly during a time when there is so much to LOSE if a guy who shares much of Bush's ideas on economic and foreign issues wins the White House – not to mention what could happen regarding the makeup of the Supreme Court.

    Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. I guess I truly didn't appreciate the degree of childishness and ignorance that infected such a sizeable portion of the party. My first choice was, actually, Biden; however, I voted for Hillary after Joe dropped out of the race. But I will have no problem whatsoever supporting Obama if he wins the nomination, and it puzzles me that so many women are taking this kamikazi approach to this.

    Truly appalling.

    May 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. Lynn

    We need to unite the democratic party behind Barack not divide the vote. This disparaging is like burying our gold–all that is precious: our homes, our children, our environment, our soldiers–is that what we want for another 8 years? Do we want continued Bush America? Is that what we REALLY want? We need to vote: Obama 2008.

    May 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Ann Marie

    This is not the first time in history that white women have interjected their so-called cause to prevent the elevation of African-Americans. In the past white women were actually encouraged by white men to make their cause more of an issue as a distraction to the emancipation of slavery.

    May 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Sarah

    Typical racist old woman

    May 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. ken

    I'm with you – well said Geraldine!!

    May 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. Dinur

    No way will I vote for Hillary if she manages to steal the nomination.

    May 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Kat

    And just what have Ferraro and Clinton done for women? Except exemplify the very worst attributes given to women. And both of their husbands have been in trouble with the law....) Anyone who is voting for Clinton just because she is a woman doesn't understand the importance of this election. A vote for McCain – the exact opposite of all that you consider important – is foolish.
    Revenge – female style.

    May 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    BY the way Ms. Ferraro,
    what exactly did he say that is sexist? You allege that he is, but you didn't give us any specific examples. That would help your position.

    May 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Bert

    To vote for someone because of their race or gender is beyond foolish.
    Wouldn't wonderful for candidates to run on the merit of their ideas and their potential for bringing those ideas to fruition? And wouldn't it be wonderful for candidates to justifiably expect intelligence and reason from voters.

    Comments and thinking like Ferraro's deserve our collective pity and shame.

    May 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. Ryan Blanco


    I don't believe anyone is calling for Ferraro to be incarcerated for her comments. That would be denying her freedom.

    In an attempt to bring logic to a Republican, under those same freedoms, I have a right to think that she is a publicity-starved idiot.

    I love saying that. It so, it so....freeing?

    May 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. goawaymongers

    This is a woman who I respected and admired. She is disgraceful, just as the Primary season has been. No wonder people are yelling for CHANGE. Her "stance" will come back and kick her where it counts most.

    May 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. susanne

    Spoken like someone who is disinfranchized, out of touch and yes....bitter! GO OBAMA!!!! I'm a sixty year old white woman who has waited since Kennedy to see a truly amazing candidate!

    May 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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