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. Damon

    And to think I once respected this woman. The Democratic Party has done a great deal for this woman's career. Now she has become a bitter old woman with a mean streak so deep she's betrayed her party and become an agent for John McCain. What a sad turn of events which will now overshadow and destroy her once honorable and historic legacy.

    May 19, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. John Burke

    When will these hysterical women just shut up? You and your yenta poster child lost. The media isn't sexist it is right. Now step aside and let the true candidate get to what is important beating McCain.
    Let's build an Obama Nation
    Obama 08

    May 19, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Elle

    Geraldine Ferraro, go find the rock you climbed out from under!

    May 19, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Eke, Greenville SC

    The comment that Obama "happens to be very lucky to be who he is" to me is a very naive one. He is not the first black man to run for the presidency. Why did the others fail to make it up to this level? Were they not who they were?

    The fact is that Obama has run a very strong and intelligent campaign. He has practically beat Hillary on all fronts – ranging from fundraising to actual votes and supporter-turnout. With all due respect to Hillary, but her campaign organization failed to plan very well and never anticipated tough opposition from someone like Barack and that is where they got it all wrong. By the time her campaign machine caught up with this oversight, it was already too late because the momentum had already shifted towards Obama. That is why they have playing catch-up when it should never have been that way in the beginning.

    In any case I will not ask her of any others who think like her to vote for Obama but I ask that they let the rightful candidate emerge. Let there be no favoritsm or changing of rules in the middle of the game.

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. Emit

    She is still Bitter over her failed VP bid

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Cryston, St. Louis

    Fro my friend in Boston. "Sweetie" is a term of endearment in the south. Women are not in the least offended by that term. Never have never will, unless it's a story about Obama. On the other hand, "boy" has never been a term of endearment to African-Americans. Never have, and never will. Only if you are black or you take some time to understand being black will you recognize that there is no comparison between "sweetie" and "boy".

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. ron

    is she not voting because he's 'sexist' or because he's black?

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Micks

    The Democratic nominee, no matter who it is, could come over to my house, kill my family in front of me, and I would still vote for them over McCain!!!

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. kat

    this bigot's opinion is irrelevant. she can join joe lieberman and zell miller in betraying her party. who cares about this harpy?

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Uncle Sam

    How dare Ms. Ferraro think she can vote for the person not the party?
    What is this country coming to?

    Independents for McCain '08

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. andre

    that's why she lost the election when she was a VP candidate... internal bickering... she hasn't learned from it..

    she's useless and washed up, who cares what she says? or karl rove and doug feith says? they have theri own agenda... this is exactly what obama is campaigning agaisnt... wake up america and put obama in the white house. a bit of change will do you good...

    and unite democrats... forget the bickering and the trolls...

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. sam

    I'm a minority male that's for Hillary. Obviously she's not going to be on the ticket, barring some major disaster with Obama.

    However, I will be voting for Obama, or ANY democrat that is representing the party.

    I know the general preception outside of the US is that Americans either have selective amnesia about our history or we just choose not to remember our actions, but in this case it proves to be true yet again.

    Poll any voter leaning towards voting for ANY democrat before the primaries and the majority of people would have said they are happy with any candidate. Now that we have had a particularly bloody primary season everyone seems to have forgotten why we were so gungo-ho about getting out and voting. OUR MUTUAL DISDAIN FOR THE LAST 8 YEARS!

    Yeah we can argue about who would be better for the country, Obama or Hillary... but we seem to have forgotten that NEITHER of them can be worse than Dubya!

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Tina

    You folks who are "bothered" (anthing is a convenient excuse, right?) by Obama's use of the word "sweetie" and think it shows he's's a term many people use (myself included) for both sexes. And besides, I don't think a woman like Michelle would ever have married a sexist.

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Matt

    Sour grapes. She make a racist statement and tries to accuse him of being sexist cuz she got fired.


    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Nicole

    I have never in my lifetime seen so many "True Democrats" say that they would never vote the nominee, which leads me to believe that some people have other motives. If we are all Democrats let's support the nominee. It is not like Hillary is sqeaky clean she has a horrid past that would have dredged up. Hillary , "Women and Warrior for the 'hard working whites"" was somerthing manufactured by her campaign when the racial divide was seen. Come on Hillary is a millionaire with a silver spoon in her mouth If you are a Democrat then you know that McCain is not good for your interest and writting in Hillary is a throw away vote. As a women, I am sad that we will be unable to have a women president, But what I also know is we can not have 4 more years of Bush Policies. Wake up people! Put race aside and think! There have been 43 white presidents you can vote for one black one!

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Michelle

    One would think, at this stage in the game, Ferraro would be working toward solidarity within the Democratic party, as the ultimate goal of either Clinton or Obama's campaign should be to defeat McCain and work toward getting the country back on track. There's nothing wrong with stating that racism and sexism exists in this country – those are facts. But the way in which Ferraro tries to make her points about those conditions just keeps making her appear to be a mud-slinging, marginalized has-been trying to get her name in the papers again.

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. VJmem

    She is just as divisive as HRC can be. If she doesn't want to vote for BHO, then don't do it, but, nobody asked her opinion. Get over it – you and those who have just been waiting on someone to get this mess started.

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Jannah

    Senator Obama has been a gentleman throughout the campaign. Ferraro needs to shut up and realize her opinion outbursts are not welcome or appreciated.

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Ambika

    I am with Geraldine Ferraro. Atleast she says and I quote"I may not vote for Obama" But I know for sure I won't vote for him if he is the nominee. On the same line I do not want to waste my vote by sitting at home on the election day. Yes you guessed it right. Maybe it will be a lesson for democrats who are known to choose losers.

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |

    The DNC sat back and watched the manipulation and hatred that targeted over half of the party base. Sexism!! Some of them even participated. I am not a Republican however, I do not believe that they would have allowed the media treating a Republican female in the manner that they have treated Senator Clinton. They would have raised hell for 40 days and 40 nights. DNC, is this how you treat the females in the party, or is this treatment only for Senator Clinton?: I will not legitimize this treatment with my vote for Barack Obama. I will write in "Minnie Mouse" instead. The DNC leadership is a joke.

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. P.A. VOTER

    We don't need her vote. I would think that if there were anyone on the planet that understood what you have to go through in this country when running for the highest office in the land it would be the 1st women to run for VP. Obviously I was wrong and thus we don't need nor want your vote Ferraro. Go back into the cave you came from. Your own candidate doesn't agree with you. And I would like to see any evidence of Obama being sexiest. That is a bold claim, funny I didn't see any actual examples to back it up in this interview.

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. BigBody

    her 15 minutes of fame are 7 minutes overdue.

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  23. zephyr99

    Let it go, people. The Democratic primaries are almost over. (What a farce - Michigan and Florida don't even count.) It's time for "Hate Fest '08," better known as the general election, to begin. It's little wonder the American people already have the government we deserve!

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. Rich

    Democrats watch out for people who say that they will vote for McCain if Hillary isn't the nominee. A lot of them were Republicans from the start trying to help Bush Jr out in the general election. Democrats don't fall for it!!!!!! We can't afford 4 more years of Bush!!!!!

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  25. Tony Smith

    My question to everyone. Is Obama responsible for Hillary Campaign flop? So Ferraro based on your logic. What you are telling us, is that if Hillary does a sex change and paints herself black, she'll definitely win the primaries. Give us a break!

    May 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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