From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
The Obama campaign called for Geraldine Ferraro to step down as a member of the Clinton campaign's finance committee for comments she made suggesting Obama's race is why he's a leading presidential candidate.
"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position," Ferraro told Torrance CA's Daily Breeze Friday as we and others reported this morning. "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 Clinton campaign had this response: "We disagree with her," Spokesman Howard Wolfson told Politico.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), called Ferraro a "good friend" and credits her with "clearing a path" for women, but added that "In the heat of the campaign though things get said that shouldn't. It's disappointing that Clinton supporters have tried to diminish" Obama. "To suggest that he's getting preferential treatment" because of his race, she sad, "is out of line. I urge Sen. Clinton to call on advisers and supporters to change the tone of their campaign."
Axelrod said the Clinton campaign's response was not enough and that "she ought to be removed" from any responsibilities she has on the campaign's finance committee or in any other way related to the campaign.
"Ferraro should be denounced and censured by the campaign," Axelrod said. "Samantha [Power] resigned, because it was not consistent with the kind of campaign we want to run. We want a candidate and president who will live by their words."
The Clinton campaign called for Obama foreign policy adviser Samantha Power to step down after it was revealed that she had told a Scottish newspaper that she felt Sen. Clinton was "a monster."
Susan Rice, an Obama foreign policy adviser, this morning on MSNBC said that Ferraro's comments were worse than Power's. Axelrod declined to rank the two, but called Ferraro's comments "part of an insidious pattern" by the campaign. Axelrod cited comments by Bill Shaheen, Bob Johnson and Clinton's comments on 60 Minutes, in which Axelrod said she did not strongly attest to Obama's Christianity -- even though the two senators had been to Christian prayer together.
"They need to set a tone and do what we've done," Axelrod said, adding later, "When you wink and nod, you are telling your supporters that anything goes."
'A real inflation of credentials'
The campaign also attacked Clinton's foreign policy credentials again. They have recently called into question her role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland and her claim that she "negotiated open borders to let fleeing refugees into safety from Kosovo."
"There's a real inflation of credentials over there," Axelrod said.
*** UPDATE *** On Ferraro's comments, Clinton said, "I do not agree with that. It is regrettable that any of our supporters on both sides, because we've both had that experience, say things that kind of veer off into the personal. We ought to keep this on the issues. There are differences between us. There are differences between our approaches on health care, on energy, on our experience, on our results that we've produced for people. That's what this campaign should be about.