When asked about the decision of Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., to abandon his endorsement of Clinton in favor of Obama, Ferraro said: "I'm very disappointed. When I see John Lewis. He's turning around — this is a civil rights leader. Why in God's name did he change his vote from Hillary to Barack Obama? I'll tell you why. He's not going to lose a Democratic primary in his district in two years, but he sure as hell will face one if he sticks it to Barack Obama when he has a greater majority of blacks in his district. He's not going to lose. I'm so disappointed in him, I could die."
"John, between me and you and your millions of listeners, if Barack Obama were a white man, would we be talking about this as a potential real problem for Hillary Clinton? … If he were a woman of any color, would he be in this position that he's in? Absolutely not," Ferraro said.
"Geraldine, are you playing the race card?" the host asked.
"No, and that's the problem. Every time you say the truth — I'm the first person, John, and you know how honest I am — I am the first person who will say in 1984, if my name were Gerard instead of Geraldine, I would never have been picked as the vice presidential candidate."
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?"
ABC News' Steven Portnoy, Sunlen Miller and David Wright contributed reporting.