Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ferraro to Obama: Don't Antagonize Me

Ferraro vigorously defends remarks Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 6:25 PM by Domenico Montanaro
Filed Under: 2008, Clinton, Obama
From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Geraldine Ferraro defended her remarks and went even further in another interview with the Daily Breeze, where Ferraro's original comments appeared. This time SHE claimed to be the victim of racism and said, "Sexism is a bigger problem." ...

"But far from backing off from her initial remark, Ferraro defended it and elaborated on it.

" 'Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up,' Ferraro said. 'Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?'...

"Ferraro said she was simply stating an obvious truth, as seen in exit polls that show Obama taking as much as 80 percent of the black vote in the Democratic primaries.

" 'In all honesty, do you think that if he were a white male, there would be a reason for the black community to get excited for a historic first?' Ferraro said. 'Am I pointing out something that doesn't exist?' ...

"She also said she is familiar with [Obama adviser David] Axelrod from his work for minority candidates in New York.

" 'He knows damn well that the best thing to do in a situation like this is to come back and hit with race,' Ferraro said, adding that the response is a sign that the Obama campaign is 'worried' about the first-term senator's lack of experience.
Ferraro said she was not trying to diminish Obama's candidacy, and acknowledged up front that she would not have been the vice presidential nominee in 1984 if she had been a man.

"But she also echoed remarks of feminist leaders like Gloria Steinem, who argued in the New York Times that Obama would not have succeeded if he were a woman because gender is 'the most restricting force in American life.'

" 'Sexism is a bigger problem,' Ferraro argued. 'It's OK to be sexist in some people's minds. It's not OK to be racist.'"

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