Ferraro Leaves Clinton Campaign

Geraldine Ferraro has given up her position on the finance committee of Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in the wake of a controversial remark about Sen. Barack Obama.

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Shortly after our conversation with Senator Clinton one of her more prominent supporters had to give up her position on the Clinton campaign. Geraldine Ferraro is leaving her position on Clinton's finance committee. The former vice presidential candidate says she wants to tamp down news stories about a remark she made, though she's hardly saying she's sorry.

Ms. GERALDINE FERRARO (Former Vice Presidential Candidate): If anybody's going to - they should apologize to me for calling me a racist.

MONTAGNE: She was talking to NBC about the Obama campaign, which questioned a statement she made. Ferraro said this week that Barack Obama would not be where he is today if he were white. And though she is stepping aside, Ferraro says Obama's campaign made too much of that statement.

Ms. FERRARO: I personally think that this is the last time that the Obama campaign is going to be able to play this type of a race card because I think that's what it is.

MONTAGNE: Obama himself dismissed Geraldine Ferraro's claims. He told reporters yesterday that her original remark was, quote, "wrongheaded." He said, "the notion that it is a great advantage to me to be an African-American named Barack Obama is not a view that has been commonly shared by the general public."

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Ferraro Quits Clinton Job After Obama Comments

Geraldine Ferraro is resigning her fundraising position with Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign because of comments she made about Sen. Barack Obama.

Ferarro — the 1984 vice presidential nominee — suggested in a recent interview that Obama would not be where he is in the presidential race if he were not black.

Obama said the statement was an attempt to divide America with "slice and dice" politics, and he called on Clinton to denounce the statement. On Tuesday, Clinton said she "did not agree" with Ferraro's remarks.

Ferraro said her comments were misinterpreted.

This is just the latest example of how race and gender issues are complicating the Democratic race for the White House.

Michele Norris talks with Christopher Edley and Maria Echaveste about that comment and the ensuing war of words.

The two are married. They both teach law at University of California at Berkeley, and they both worked in the Bill Clinton White House — but their political allegiances are split this year. Edley is an adviser to Obama, and Echaveste is advising Clinton.

They agree that the campaigns have to be extra-sensitive to comments about race and gender, but they differ on whether race and gender can be avoided completely.



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