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Clinton Disagrees With but Declines to Press Ferraro

By Perry Bacon Jr.
Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign declined today to force former Democratic vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro from its finance committee, as her rival Sen. Barack Obama and his aides demanded, after Ferraro suggested Obama would not be in the position he is not if not for his race and gender.

Instead, Clinton's campaign manager Maggie Williams sent out a statement repeating Clinton's remarks to the Associated Press from earlier in the day. "I do not agree with that," Clinton had said of Ferraro's comments, "and you know it's regrettable that any of our supporters on both sides say things that veer off into the personal. We ought to keep this focused on the issues. That's what this campaign should be about."

In the same statement, Williams called the criticism of Ferraro "false, personal and politically calculated attacks on the eve of a primary."

"These attacks serve only to divide the Democratic Party and the American people," Williams said.

Williams' statement also invoked Obama's own words in defense Ferraro. In a presidential debate in January, Obama had condemned a memo his staff composed that recounted various statements from Clinton supporters that could be considered racially motivated. Obama had referred to that memo as "overzealous."

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 11, 2008; 6:28 PM ET
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