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 explained 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.
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."
In a relatively mild response, Clinton continued, "And both of us have had supporters and staff members who've gone over the line, and we have to rein them in and try to keep this on the issues. There are big differences between us on the issues — let's stay focused on that."
Obama chided Clinton, for Ferraro's comment, to a Pennsylvania newspaper.
"I don't think Geraldine Ferraro's comments have any place in our politics or in the Democratic Party," Obama told Pennsylvania's Allentown Morning Call newspaper.
"They are divisive. I think anybody who understands the history of this country knows they are patently absurd. And I would expect that the same way those comments don't have a place in my campaign, they shouldn't have a place in Sen. Clinton's, either."
Ferraro, a 72-year-old lawyer and former congresswoman, told a California newspaper that this campaign has been "very emotional" for her and suggested Clinton has been a victim of a "very sexist media."
"I think what America feels about a woman becoming president takes a very secondary place to Obama's campaign — to a kind of campaign that it would be hard for anyone to run against," Ferraro told California's Daily Breeze local paper.
"For one thing, you have the press, which has been uniquely hard on her," she said. "It's been a very sexist media. Some just don't like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign."
Ferraro's controversial comments made news less than a week after Obama's senior foreign policy adviser Samantha Power resigned from the Illinois senator's campaign for calling Clinton "a monster.''
The Obama campaign held a conference call with reporters Tuesday with Obama supporter, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., arguing that Ferraro's words "undermine" Democrats' "ability to win in November."