Barack Obama taking a tour Tuesday of the Gamesa Wind Corporation factory in Fariless Hills, Pa. The factory makes component parts to make wind energy turbines. The large object in the background is a nacelle, which goes on top of a wind tubine. (Photos by Lynn Sweet)
FAIRLESS HILLS, PA.—The Obama team on Monday called for the Clinton campaign to disavow remarks made by former Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro for saying Obama would not be a contender for president if he were female of white.
Obama made his first comments about Ferraro in an interview with Josh Drobnyk of The Morning Call, based in Allentown.
"I don't think Geraldine Ferraro's comments have any 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," Obama said. END UPDATE
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), an Obama supporter who has been traveling around the country as a surrogate for Obama, said in a conference call to reporters the comments were “completely out of line.”
Schakowsky said Ferraro “played a historic role” in being the first female on a major party ticket (Walter Mondale tapped her in 1984 to be his running mate) but fount “disappointing” her comments suggesting Obama got “preferential treatment because of his race.”
Ferraro—a fund-raiser for Clinton—touched off the uproar when she said in an interview with the Daily Breeze of Torrance, Calif. (outside of Los Angeles) 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."
Last week, Obama foreign affairs adviser Samantha Power stepped down after she called Clinton a "monster" who was "stooping to anything" to win the nomination in an interview with The Scotsman.
Susan Rice, another Obama foreign relations adviser said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program that Ferraro needed to “repudiate” her statement.
“It is a far worse comment that what Samantha Power said and for which Senator Obama accepted her resignation. I think if Senator Clinton is serious about putting an end to statements that have racial implications, that diminish Senator Obama because he’s an African American man, then she ought to really repudiate this comment and make it clear that there is no place in her campaign for people who will say this kind of thing.”
Robert Gibbs, Obama communications chief said that if the Clinton campaign were serious “about policing” themselves some steps would be taken. “Let’s see if they are serious about their rhetoric or just playing games..(they) can’t feign outrage only at your competitors’ supporters and not take responsibility for your own.”