In a follow-up interview with the local California paper that broke the story, Ferraro defended her remarks.
"Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up," Ferraro told the Daily Breeze. "Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?"
It wasn't immediately clear Wednesday what persuaded Ferraro to step aside from her role as a fundraiser and Clinton campaign finance committee member; however the Obama campaign had pounced extraordinarily hard on the comment, suggesting it was indicative of Clinton's "kitchen sink" strategy.
ABC News' Eloise Harper, Steven Portnoy, Sunlen Miller and David Wright and the Associated Press contributed reporting.