Ferraro Steps Down From Clinton Campaign

The Clinton campaign confirms Geraldine Ferraro has stepped down from her role on the finance committee of Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign after making racially charged remarks about Sen. Barack Obama.

Ferraro notified Clinton by letter Wednesday that she would no longer serve on Clinton's finance committee as "Honorary New York Leadership Council Chair," reported the Associated Press.

Ferraro notified Clinton by letter Wednesday that she would no longer serve on Clinton's finance committee as "Honorary New York Leadership Council Chair."

The AP reported Ferraro wrote a letter to Clinton, saying: "Dear Hillary, I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what's at stake in this campaign. The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you. I won't let that happen. Thank you for everything you've done and continue to do to make this a better world for my children and grandchildren. You have my deep admiration and respect, Gerry," read the letter, first reported by CNN.

Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson told the AP it was Ferraro's decision to leave the campaign.

Ferraro could not be immediately reached by ABC News for comment. Just this morning, Ferraro stood by her controversial comments suggesting Obama wouldn't be succeeding in the Democratic nomination battle if he weren't black.

"I am sorry that people think this was a racist comment," Ferraro said in an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America" Wednesday.

She declined to apologize directly for the firestorm she created when she told a local California newspaper that "if Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position."

Ferraro, the 1984 Democratic vice presidential candidate, told Sawyer she was "absolutely not" sorry for what she'd said, suggesting she had tried to pay Obama a compliment.

Ferraro said she was saying that "the black community came out with ... pride in [Obama's] candidacy. You would think he would say 'thank you' for doing that. Instead, I'm charged with being a racist."

Ferraro told "GMA" she was drawing a comparison to her own history, contending that if she had not been a woman Walter Mondale would not have chosen her as his running mate in 1984 -- a point she also made in the newspaper interview.

Read Ferraro's newspaper interview here.

Obama Speaks

Obama also appeared on "GMA," fresh from his victory in Tuesday's Mississippi primary. Today he declined to say whether he believed Ferraro should be fired.

"I'll leave that to the Clinton campaign," he said, but added when people associated with his campaign have made objectionable comments, they were fired.

Obama scoffed at the notion that being black "is a huge advantage" for him. "The quickest path to the presidency [is not] I want to be an African-American man named Barack Obama," he said.

A fundraiser and outspoken supporter for Clinton, Ferraro was the first woman chosen by a major political party to be its vice presidential candidate.

In an interview Tuesday with ABC News affiliate WHTM, Clinton ignored calls from the Obama campaign to remove Ferraro from her campaign, saying, "Well, I don't agree with that, and I think it's important that we try to stay focused on issues that matter to the American people."

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