Sweet column: Obama team steamed over Ferraro

SHARE Sweet column: Obama team steamed over Ferraro

print version of earlier blog post

FAIRLESS HILLS, Pa. — By the end of Tuesday — and after the Obama campaign raised a ruckus — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton distanced herself from race-related comments about Sen. Barack Obama made by a backer, 1984 former Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro, the first female on the ticket of a major party.

Obama called the remarks “divisive,” and Clinton said it is “regrettable” when supporters “veer off into the personal.”

The Obama forces pushed back after Ferraro told the Daily Breeze of Torrance, Calif., that “if Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. . . . And if he was a woman [of any color], 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.”

The Obama campaign organized a conference call for reporters to spotlight Ferraro’s remarks. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said in the call she found “disappointing” her comments suggesting Obama got “preferential treatment because of his race.”

This comes days after Obama foreign policy adviser Samantha Power resigned after she called Clinton a “monster” in an interview with the Scotsman,and Obama economics adviser Austan Goolsbee touched off an uproar with Canada over remarks he made about NAFTA.

Obama toured parts of the Gamesa Wind Corp. factory, which manufactures component parts for wind energy turbines. Obama told the Morning Call, based in Allentown, that Ferraro’s comments have no “place in our politics or in the Democratic Party. They are divisive. I think anybody who understands the history of this country knows they are patently absurd. And I would expect that the same way those comments don’t have a place in my campaign they shouldn’t have a place in Senator Clinton’s either.”

In the AP interview, Clinton said, “I do not agree with that,” and later added, “It’s regrettable that any of our supporters — on both sides, because we both have this experience — say things that kind of veer off into the personal.”

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